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a low-level cloud mass moving from the southeast in a north-westerly direction covering most of South Florida. Sarasota had a 300-foot base topping at 2,000 feet. He said the field was IFR only, and suggested I wait it out where I was as the weather should clear in one to two hours.


I then decided to reach out to some of my pilot friends by sending humble text messages about my close call, detailing the poor decisions I’d made, fueled by my over-inflated pride and arrogance. I decided I wasn’t going to hide from this by simply putting it down to a “Phew, that was a close call event.” I needed to share the experience and learn some humility and better decision-making skills.


I still haven’t been able to fully shake off the idea that I really died out there. Looking back, there are missing blocks


of time particularly when I entered the cloud. I’m still struggling with the feeling of calmness that came over me when I let go, fully prepared to die. This feeling of calm seemed to last for ages in those several seconds. I don’t know what caused me to fight back, perhaps the thought of my wife becoming a widow and my little girl losing her dad. At that moment of clarity, instructor Phil started telling dopey Phil what to do and luckily dopey Phil listened and complied.


Not my finest hour, I admit, Randy, but a traumatic experience I have learned from and I relive every day. That’s why I’m writing to you. It is my wish that your readers learn from my close call too. After all, that’s one definition of a good mentor, isn’t it?


Randy Mains is an author, public speaker, and an AMRM con- sultant who works in the he- licopter industry after a long career of aviation adventure. He currently serves


as chief


CRM/AMRM instructor for Oregon Aero.


He may be contacted at: info@randymains.com


rotorcraftpro.com


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