Today’s Illustration: Pilots Understand This! Christians — Not So Much.

In many fields of endeavor, there are “secrets” understood by those operating in that field. Sometimes they are called “tricks of the trade.”  Books titles will read “The Secrets of the Superhuman Strength,” or “Cooking School Secrets of Real World Cooks.”

At times, the “secrets” are secrets because they are “counterintuitive.”   It is not what most people think or would think to be true.  One such counterintuitive example is found among those who are non-pilots.

Flying low to the ground has absolutely no safety dynamics operating.  It is not that if you are flying low to the ground, that you are no so high up that you are less likely to get injured or killed were you to “fall” out of the sky.

Rather, it is like “free-soloing, [1] once you get over a certain height, there is little chance of coming out alive after a fall. [2] While the probabilities are almost certain that a person will not survive a fall of 25 feet or more, and anything much over 25 feet will not make much of a difference in the outcome, that is not the case with flying.  The probabilities of survival increase with altitude.  That is what makes it counterintuitive.

Pilots know that the greater the altitude, the great chances of survival from an airplane mishap or equipment failure.  Altitude gives the pilot . . . .

  • greater cruise speeds — The pilot has already attained a higher airspeed.
  • longer gliding distances — There is more time and space to glide.
  • time to solve a problem — The pilot has more than seconds to solve an emergency.
  • an opportunity to find a landing sight — There is time to find or be directed to another airport, or even to see and find a possible roadway or landing sight.
  • the altitude needed to pull out of an “aeronautical stall” [3] — Stalling at low altitudes is deadly! [4]

Flying at an altitude of 15,000 feet is not more dangerous than 5,000 feet above the ground.  Actually, it is safer.  It provides a great chance of survival. [5]

. . . . 

Key Biblical Thoughts:

  • separation
  • holiness
  • worldliness
  • godly living
  • Christian liberty
  • temptation
  • trials

. . . . 

Sermonic Example:

(Include whatever information from above that you find useful)

Pilots realize that — Distance Matters!  That there is value in being far enough above the ground in order to give them the time needed to address a problem or crisis . . . because distance matters!  Spiritual margins matter as well.  Giving yourself some time or distance makes a difference in one’s Christian life.   It really is not a secret when it comes to godliness, and it is not counterintuitive to living for Jesus. . . .

. . . . 

Other Information & Links:

1. “Free solo climbing, or free soloing, is a form of technical ice or rock climbing where the climbers climb alone without ropes, harnesses or other protective equipment, forcing them to rely entirely on their own individual preparation, strength, and skill.” — wikipedia

2. Some would wrongly say, “It doesn’t matter where you fall from, it matters what you fall on. ”  That is very misleading because outside of being a “stunt man,” who jumps and falls into huge air-filled bags designed for zero shock, most people will die from a fall of 23 feet.  An individual would be traveling at approximately 38 mph.   Under 23 feet, a person might survive.

3.  “When most people hear “stall” they associate it with a failed automobile engine. . . . The simplest explanation of a stall is that the wing momentarily loses a portion of its lift, which sounds a LOT scarier than it actually is. And often in modern airplanes it’s not even the “big wing” that completely stalls, it’s the “little wing at the tail”, purposefully designed to stall in such a way that it automatically positions the big wing to stay far, far away from completely stalling unless the pilot actually continues to force it into a stalled condition, FROM WHICH I must add, the recovery from said stall is practically automatic. Most airplanes WILL NOT STALL on their own — they have to be forced into such a configuration. And pilots in training practice these situations over and over and over … and over again — force the airplane into a stalling configuration, recover within usually about 1 second with minimal loss of altitude.

Believe it or not you have experienced a stall in an airplane every single time you have flown, and you probably didn’t even know it happened. Actually, I should restate that — you have experienced a stall in an airplane every single time you have been flying and landed. The challenge of landing a plane well is to manage exactly when the wing stalls in relation to when the landing gear is supporting the weight of the aircraft.”
Michael Geurink / July 27, 2018 —

4. “Aerodynamic stall accidents fall into the “loss of control in flight” category, which is the most common defining event for fatal accidents in the personal flying sector of general aviation.

5. That is not to say that at altitudes of 25,000, 35,000 feet, there are not other aerodynamics operating which change up this equation — i.e. thinner air and a change in handling and maneuvering.

One thought on “Today’s Illustration: Pilots Understand This! Christians — Not So Much.

  1. Another fantastic starter for all of us

    he always loved flying, I NEVER DID

    Great use on tailgating or crop dusting sin

    I will be using this Pastor Ted

    ~ the dull axe


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.