Pilot's prayers answered by Jesus sign

Saw the news this morning from www.news.com.au which the original source was from Malboroughexpress

Two Blenheim men who ran out of fuel high above the Marlborough Sounds are thanking divine intervention for getting them down safely - right next to a six-metre sign proclaiming "Jesus is Lord".

Grant Stubbs said pilot Owen Wilson told him to pray as they desperately tried to find a place to land that was not sea or steep hillside when the engine on their aircraft cut out.

The friends were on a birthday-treat trip for Mr Stubbs to Golden Bay when they ran into trouble in their microlight plane on Sunday.

After flying over Richmond and Takaka into Golden Bay they flew back over the Sounds, but as they ascended the head of the Pelorus Sound the plane's engine cut out. Mr Stubbs said they were ascending a steep slope at the time.

"When you're in a microlight if you crash, you usually die. I turned to O.B (Mr Wilson) and he said we had no fuel.

"I asked what we should do. He said: `You just pray Grant."'

Mr Stubbs said he asked God to get them over the ridge and find somewhere to land.

"We managed to splutter and cough up this steep slope before the motor cut out completely.

"We were probably at 1500 feet and had to find somewhere to land. It was water and steep slopes. We were desperately looking around and came to this tiny little bay. Behind us he spotted little grassy area."

In what Mr Stubbs called a very fine piece of gliding with no engine, Mr Wilson was able to land the plane.

"You have to figure out where you can land without it being too late, it's difficult because of the tightness of bay and the airstrip not being lined up."

Mr Stubbs, who owns Caltex on Main Street in Blenheim, said it was ironic he had 200,000 litres of petrol at work yet none with him in the sky.

After straightening the plane up, the men noticed they were beside a massive sign. Mr Stubbs estimated it was six metres high. On it was written "Jesus is Lord - The Bible".

"When we saw that we started laughing," Mr Stubbs said.

The men had landed at Tira Ora Lodge, which is run by a Christian couple.

The couple told the men that usually when a plane came in they needed to clear the animals - emus, goats, deer, wild horses and donkeys. All of the animals were there at the edge of the strip.

"It is a powerful testimony. We believe God didn't want us to check out yet," Mr Stubbs said.

It was still unclear why the men ran out of fuel as Mr Wilson said he had carefully calculated how far the plane could fly before needing to top up the fuel. There is no petrol gauge in the two-seater plane but the tank was visible behind the seats. Mr Wilson intended to install a mirror in the plane so it would be easy to see if fuel was running low.

The incident had been referred to the Civil Aviation Authority.

1 comment:

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