Friday, December 01, 2006

In the Center of the Cross

This is a picture of the Primary Flight Display on an Airbus A320. It shows our attitude in relation to the horizon, our heading, our airspeed in knots, our altitude, our mach number, our vertical velocity, and the particulars of our automation.

Specifically what I would like to draw your attention to are the two lines that form a cross right in the center of the instrument. Those form what is called the "Flight Director." There is a little black box that is right in the center of the cross. By pitching the plane up or down or rolling it right or left, you move that box to center it up underneath the crosshairs. The function of the crosshairs is to tell you where to put the airplane in order for it to fly in the manner you have asked it to. In short, if I were to set the automation up, you as a non-pilot could fly the little box into the cross, and you would be able to make the plane do something you would not be able to do on your own. On the other hand, if you were to ignore the cross, really bad things usually happen!

I took one of our pastors in the simulator one day and after learning how to keep the box under the cross, he came up with the following insightful application to real life:

If you want to get to your proper destination in this life, you must stay in the center of the Cross. When you are not in the center of the Cross, really bad things usually happen!

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