Q: What close call did Billy Graham survive in Canada?
A: An emergency landing in the snow
“It’s going to be bumpy,” the pilot announced over a crackly intercom.
Billy Graham and 13 other passengers were flying through a storm over Alberta, Canada, when they got terrifying news that they needed to make an emergency landing.
It was the late 1940s and the evangelist was traveling from Seattle, Washington, to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to speak at a conference.
Snow covered the ground and all the nearby airports were closed, so the pilot told passengers to brace for landing in a field.
“We’re going to have to use our own lights to see what we’re doing,” he explained. “It’s a plowed field, but with the snow cover I won’t know which way the furrows are running.
“I’ll leave the wheels up,” he said, “and we’ll slide in the snow.” Next, the pilot tried to give them somewhat good news—saying that since they were low on fuel there shouldn’t be a fire.
Passengers buried their heads between their knees and braced for the worst.
“When we landed, we bumped hard,” said Billy Graham. “People screamed and hollered as we came to an abrupt stop.” He and some others had bruises but no one was seriously injured.
Everyone had to stay put until morning, when help arrived via a wagon and team of horses.
—Paraphrased from Just As I Am: The Autobiography of Billy Graham.