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

July 1, 2020

ONCE AGAIN it’s the first day of July — the anniversary of the day, in 1986, when I was nearly killed in a small-plane collision over Nantucket Sound.

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 story below, which I post every year on this date, is my response to that question.

The fact that my answer takes us back more than three decades, to when I was but a 20 year-old private pilot at the controls of a four-seat Piper, should underscore the incredible safety of flying in general, and especially of commercial flying.

With me in the airplane that afternoon was a young girl with whom I long ago lost touch, and whose beauty and peculiarities are detailed in the story that follows. I have no idea what her own recollections of that day might be, but mine remain crystal clear.



Comments (22)