August 24, 2010

I flew to Nashville to give myself a mini-vacation and to get on the endangered species of a bird, the DC-9-40. It was pretty cool to get on one of seven remaining aircraft in the world. I got to fly one of four remaining DC-9-30s on the leg back. It brought me back to my days of being 18 years old, pre-Riddle and doing what I did best and loving every minute of it.I start my final chapter at Embry-Riddle on Tuesday. It is kind of scary actually. I remember walking through the doors as a freshman trying to find every loophole to drop out and go back to flying 7 days a week, but now it’s here and I’m not sure I’m ready.

I found a lot of people I care about here and people who care about me (or they would have let me drop out and not finish my education).Further, when I went to Oklahoma, I was surrounded by employers who were very impressed with my photographic memory of accidents past, specific safety-related events and ideas for ways to improve safety. So I think that my education paid off at Embry-Riddle and I will be put into a position where I cannot only say that I did something to help change, I think I’ll actually achieve it.

Speaking of change, Friday the 27th will be four years since Delta Connection Flight 5191 impacted the ground during its takeoff role. Within four years of the accident I will be a college graduate in the field that was inspired after this accident. I can’t believe that the time just kept marching on and I am four years older and wiser.On the 26th I will be flying out to Kentucky with a friend who works for Comair and he will be working the 0600 departure back from Lexington to Atlanta on the 27th. It will be a mirror of the accident flight four years earlier, but it was something he needed to do for himself, and he asked me if I would tag along for moral support. The one thing that we were talking about was how back in 2006, on the 26th, flying seemed fun, safe, and a way of life, but on the 27th we woke up, and it had all changed.

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About Michael

**Hometown:** Saddle River New Jersey **Career Goals:** Cabin Safety/Survival with the FAA **Why I chose Embry-Riddle:** In 2006, a friend was killed as the working flight attendant aboard Delta Connection Flight 5191 and I decided it was time to abandon the Flight Attendant career that inspired me out of high school and enter a field to promote and regulate change for a safer Aircraft Cabin Environment.

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