One week ago while quietly relaxing into my seat for my 10 hour plane journey home after a long tiring business trip in the U.S. I unexpectedly had one of the true defining moments of my life to date!

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I was a passenger on BA Flight 2276 leaving Las Vegas at 15.30 on Tuesday September 8th.

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On numerous occasions I been described as a risk taker which is a fair comment as on reflection.

  • I continue to ride a motorbike every day even though I have been knocked off twice with serious injury in the past…WHY? Because it makes me feel alive.
  •  I’ve sky dived and wish to do more in the future.. WHY? Because it is the most exhilarating experience of my life and its true the buzz it gives is addictive!
  •  I’ve invested heavily in High Risk ‘Financial Opportunities’ attracted by the larger relative gains to more steady investments, I’ve lost a significant amount of money when these went in a different direction than anticipated…I continue to consider ‘High Risk’ investments in emerging markets as more exciting to me.
  •  I left a well paid secure job I enjoyed to begin the long journey of being a successful business owner…the risks of this are omnipresent but countered in greater measure by my desire to build something I can be proud of.
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I am comfortable taking risks in all parts of life as it simply make my life more interesting to me.

Stepping on another flight Tuesday I did not for one second think I would be positively impacting the risk profile of my life.  On this day on BA flight 2276 I certainly was.

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My travelling companion and I were sitting on seats 18A & 18B, directly above the front of left wing significantly the left engine

This engine has a catastrophic failure less than 10 seconds into take off making a very loud bang and causing the plane to veer to left. The pilot reacted to this and performed a very effective emergency stop at 90mph.  At this time the belief of my companion and I along with the internal aircrew was a tire had blown…NO DRAMA…and they went into their well drilled routine of requesting all passengers remain calm and in their seat to await further instructions..

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Listening to this I looked out of the window and saw black smoke, then flames engulfing the wing a few feet away from me my whole world slowed down and senses went into overload.

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“I am in a plane full of fuel that is on fire below me, I need to get away from this seat – NOW!

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My companion shouted to people internally that the engine was on fire and few seconds later this was followed by the captain’s command loud and clear to perform an emergency evacuation of the aircraft.

With the full survival instincts of my body, and adrenaline in full flow, in a split second the decision was made to head for the front right exit of the plane: clearest route through business class and furthest away from fire; a few seconds later I was down the emergency slide onto the very hot McCann airport runway and a short sprint later we were away from danger at a perceived safe distance away from the burning aircraft.

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Sitting here today I take no credit for my effective journey away from danger. I have however a renewed respect for the natural instincts of my brain and body, pre-programmed to keep me safe in response to danger.

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The week following has been one of  reflection for myself…

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Do I now think air travel is dangerous and places an additional risk profile on my life I am not comfortable with? 

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NO, the safety statistics speak for themselves and while I am the first to admit I did not enjoy my subsequent flight back to UK – it felt different to all flights before – I hope with time I can fully regress into ‘Blazay Boy’ once more.

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Do I think any material possession is worth endangering your life, or more importantly the lives of other for?

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NO! Those passengers who messed around taking their 10kg!! hand luggage out of the overhead storage – blocking passengers exit path – after the pilots command to evacuate, need to take some serious time for reflection themselves.

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The key thing I take from this experience is that I am still alive, and IREALLY REALLY need to appreciate that fact.

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(My understanding is that if the engine had failed 5-10 seconds later our speed would have dictated the pilot take off in the first instance….this may have had significant alternative consequences based upon the rate at which the fire developed…)

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Prior to the point where my world went slo-mo I had not been thinking in this way…

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Typically I take proactive positive view on life, excited to enjoy (and learn) from life’s many adventures, motivated to set and strive towards achieving personal goals as it makes life more interesting and enjoyable in equal measure for me personally. Rationalizing any risk… thinking I had full control of the time I had to enjoy this journey…

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After Tuesday 8th I have been reminded that life is full of risks, some of which can have a ultimate impact on our lives or those we care for around us, we cannot control these.

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Do I want to continue taking risks in my life? YES!

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Wednesday 9th September 2015, the start of a new journey for me, and those that depend on me.

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Many of the desires and ambitions for my life pre-Tuesday 8th still remain, galvanized in their importance.

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The ‘Bucket List’ is now bigger than ever however with a renewed clarification and sense of urgency to experience everything I can in life before my time is truly up 🙂

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