by Daryl Gungadoo

When we fly in an airplane, we can’t expect the weather to be perfect every time. Sometimes clouds are thick and dark, and the trip is bumpy. Life can be like flying in an airplane. Sometimes we can’t see clearly or things are “bumpy.” Bumpy times can be times such as our first day of school or going to a new summer camp where we don’t know anyone. But if we keep our thoughts and prayers pointed upward we can eventually climb through to clear, sunny heights. 

But it is a bit different when pilots fly airplanes. How do they see storms when they are already in the clouds? The answer is radar. RADAR stands for RAdio Detection And Ranging. In its simplest form it consists of a transmitted radio signal that detects the echoes off objects in the path of the signal. 

This signal is sent out in short bursts of energy, called pulses, through the antenna. They produce a narrow beam similar to a flashlight. This echo is then analyzed to determine its range, height, and bearing from the receiver. The time taken for the signal to travel from the transmitter to the object and back defines its range. 

Today’s radars are very sophisticated, specifically for identifying other aircraft. A coded pulse sequence is sent to the aircraft, and a transponder on the plane generates a coded return. If the aircraft transponder is switched off, it can be difficult to identify which one of the many radar “blips” corresponds to the aircraft you are interested in. 

Two sets of rules govern flying. Visual flight rules (VFR) are for sunny days when you can see where you are going. Instrument flight rules (IFR) apply when visibility is less than three miles, or when clouds are within 1,000 feet of the ground. When flying IFR, control comes from the air-traffic control center, preventing planes from flying too close to each other. 

In our lives we cannot see the future. We have to live, or “fly,” by faith in God. There is something else that helps us look into the future—prophecy. Amos 3:7 says: “Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.” 

Read your Bible and pay attention to the guidance in it. Not doing that is foolish as flying an airplane without radar! 

Fun Facts

  1. The invention of radar is credited to Scottish physicist Robert Watson- Watt in 1935. 

  2. Police use radar to detect the speed of cars and trucks. 

  3. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a form of radar to look inside the human body. 

  4. People who study the weather use Doppler radar to track storm movements. 


BlueBirdie (the seaplane from Voice of Prophecy’s Discovery Mountain podcast) uses radar. 

To see BlueBirdie in 3-D, download the KidsViewAR app (on Android or iOS) and point your device to this image.