06/24/2014 10:51 am ET

Finding Personal Growth After A Midlife Crisis

Luis Alvarez via Getty Images

Sixty seconds after takeoff, Dave Sanderson heard the explosion.

"I had never heard anything like that on a plane before," he recalls. "I was sitting four rows behind the left wing. I looked out and saw fire."

Sanderson, 53, flew often for his work as a software sales manager for Oracle, and he didn't panic. "My first thought was that we had lost an engine," he says. "I thought we'd just circle back to LaGuardia and land."

Read more on AARP