Tuesday morning I made a last minute decision to have breakfast with Graham, confident that I could walk onto a later flight. We had a pleasant time and I jumped into the car to fight my way through traffic back to LAX. Since there was so much busyness in my life I chose to turn off the radio so I could have a little "think time" at the beginning of a hectic week.
I turned in the car and took the shuttle into the terminal. My luggage was all carryon so I checked out the gate for the next flight to San Diego. At the gate I handed my ticket to the agent and mentioned that I'd missed flight 182 and could she please get me on the next one. The lady turned white and just stared at me. "Is something wrong?" I asked. She took a deep breath and said " I'm sorry sir but the flight you were booked on did not arrive". "Excuse me" I said, "what do you mean it didn't arrive?". She pointed to the TV monitors which were tuned to a local news station.
PSA 182 had been on approach to the San Diego airport when it lost visual contact with a Cessna practicing landings and collided with it in midair. Both aircraft dropped out of the sky into an apartment complex. It was evident there were no survivors.
As we flew into (the still open) San Diego airport I looked down from the plane's window and saw the black smoke that engulfed what once was "my flight". I can only conclude that it was not my time to go.
This was the beginning of a week that defies description filled with
fires, wrecked cars, rare diseases and political shenanigans.