July 1, 2013
Well, it’s the first day of July, which means it’s the anniversary — number 27, which is almost unfathomable — of the time I was nearly killed in a small-plane collision over Nantucket Sound in the company of the spindly and beautiful Dorothy Meyer, who although she would have nothing to do with me, shares with me forever this profound split-second of fate. God only knows if she has even the slightest recollection of that day, but I certainly do, and the details of it are recounted in one of my favorite stories.
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 tiny four-seater, should underscore the incredible safety of flying in general, and especially of commercial flying.
But more than that, maybe, it’s just a good story.