Into the Sea: Love, Death, and Other Near Misses

July 1, 2014

Well, it’s the first day of July, which means it’s the anniversary — number 28, which is almost unfathomable — of the day I was nearly killed in a small-plane collision over Nantucket Sound.

With me in the airplane was the spindly and beautiful Dorothy Meyer, who shares with me forever this profound split-second of fate. I have no idea what her own recollections of that day might be, but mine remain crystal clear.

In interviews I’m often asked about my most memorable or frightening close call. Apparently a lot of people dig hearing pilots talking about being scared or screwing up. The fact that my one and only answer takes us all the way back to 1986, when I was but a 20 year-old private pilot at the controls of a Piper four-seater, should underscore the incredible safety of flying in general, and especially of commercial flying.

But more than that, it’s just a good story.



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4 Responses to “Into the Sea: Love, Death, and Other Near Misses”

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  1. Vinny Noggin says:

    No, actually it’s all true:

    Preparing Cats for Air Travel

    “Acclimate your cat to air travel over an extended period. Leave the air carrier open at home so your cat can enter and exit it. Place enticing toys and treats inside to encourage exploration. Reward your cat when it enters the carrier. As your day of departure gets closer, place a comfort object with your scent in the carrier that you can keep inside when your cat travels in the cabin.”

  2. Now I’ve got Love Cats stuck in my head. I had a similar experience nearly colliding with a boat in the middle of the ocean and I still shudder to think of it.

    This is beautiful Patrick, hope she gets to read it.

  3. Andrew Sommer says:

    A really nice read and thanks for sharing it.

    I knew a girl like that once too, and my date with her ended pretty much the way yours did. Life goes on from there…

  4. FatguyfromQueens says:

    So have you crossed paths with Dorothy lately? Does she know you blogged about your shared experience? Is she married with 2.2 kids in the ‘burbs?

    Sorry but after re-reading this I’m intensely curious.