Aviation Is Kind Of A Religion, After All

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Prayer has always been a part of aviation, whether practiced by the student pilot before his or her first solo or by the grizzled vet facing an airborne emergency. On the off chance you believe genuflection and worship directed at aircraft is only the province of Judeo-Christians or Muslims, comes a report from Katmandu, Nepal, noting that Hindus have been worshipping their helicopters. While we agree that it requires a bit more faith to fly helicopters than, perhaps, fixed-wing aircraft, Hindus who worship the goddess Durga are celebrating a festival in her name by praying to their copters. According to the Indo-Asian News Service, "Banwari Lal Mittal, [a] 68-year-old Nepalese entrepreneur who is trying to promote religious tourism in Nepal through his Shri Airlines," last week offered prayers to his four helicopters, "including one undergoing an overhaul." The occasion is a religious day when "entrepreneurs worship their professional implements," according to the news service. One more thing to add to our pre-flight checklist.