“No, he wasn’t. At that time, pilots were flying down the center to avoid being too close to a mountain; however, the rules have since changed. Anyway, what I am about to say to you must stay between us. It was given to me in good faith, but I feel you should know. Deal?”
“It won’t leave this plane,” John pledged.
“The pilot attempted the turn and almost made it, but the right wing clipped the trees, dragging the plane to the ground. There was only one survivor, and he was found a few days later still at the site. The pilot and Mr. and Ms. Heatherly died. Their son, Jason was the only survivor.”
“Who would have ever known?” John said pitifully.
“It’s not something you share. This was very traumatic. You may even hear it in detail. But please don’t mention it until he does,” Steve said again.
“It amazes me. How can he even return to the area where his family was killed? Better yet, operate with the same organization that got his family killed?”
“It was an unfortunate accident and I’m sure Jason was bitter for a long time. But wounds heal, and the Lord works in all ways and in different situations,” said Steve.
“He’s a better man than I,” John admitted.
“Jason learned to forgive. Now he is a stronger person and is able to teach and help others.
The one thing that could’ve shaken his faith only made him stronger.”
John edged closer to the slope on his right. He thought he might be too close, but Steve hadn’t indicated so. John was unsettled by the story, but such tales were not rare. Many of his friends had been in aircraft accidents, and a few had even lived to fly again.
The lowering clouds reminded Steve it was time to go home. He took control of the plane to hurry back. They were only 25 miles away, but that was far when visibility was less than two. Already the weather system had overtaken them to the north, with little hope of outrunning it.
“It’s not looking too good up there is it?” John leaned forward to observe the boiling clouds.
“No, it’s not. I hope it clears up or we may have to land and wait it out.”
“I don’t see any place around here to land. I guess we’ll have to take our chances with the clouds,” said John.
Jeffrey W. Bennett, is the author of Commitment-A Novel and other non-fiction books, novels and periodicals.