How Performance Compares to Flying (and Crashing) A Plane with Christine Mortine

This week’s guest host is Megan Kilgore, City Auditor of Columbus since 2018. She’s an adjunct professor at Ohio State University, the founder of Ohio Women in Public Finance, and the recipient of numerous awards and accolades including The Bond Buyer’s “Rising Star” Award, being named one of Columbus Business First magazine’s “40 Under 40,” and being named a Columbus Alive “Person to Watch.” 

She’s speaking to Christine Mortine: a former classical musician, and now a flight instructor. In 2021, she lost all power to her plane’s engines and was forced to make an emergency landing. She walked away from the resulting crash, and she still flies today. 

Christine’s music career started with her playing cello and piano in third grade, where she also started singing. She had a natural talent that she nurtured, and it took her to a vocal career in opera for 25 years before her husband took her on an intro flight and she fell in love with flying. 

We talk about her passions, and why she turned her back on her music career in favor of pursuing aviation. Of course, there’s no getting away from the miraculous story of her surviving the emergency landing she was forced to take while flying over Worthington. Her reaction in the moment – not to mention afterwards – is profound in what it teaches us about the way we live and relate to the world and people around us.

Christine initially took three weeks off of flying, but decided that that was enough, and got right back on the horse. The fact that she didn’t let this traumatic experience prevent her from pursuing her passions is incredible and something we can all learn from. 

What Megan asks:

  • [02:50] Tell me about your 25-year career in classical music.
  • [04:18] Why did you choose to become a pilot?
  • [05:04] How long have you been flying now?
  • [05:40] What are your college degrees?
  • [05:47] How do you actually become a pilot?
  • [06:30] Tell us about the plane crash you survived.
  • [24:59] What happened immediately after the crash, when the plane stopped moving?
  • [27:21] Tell us about how you made peace with death in those moments before the plane hit the ground.
  • [36:41] Were you always this comfortable with the idea of failure? 
  • [38:02] What’s it like having such varied interests?
  • [40:23] Did you question flying again?
  • [44:15] Tell us about your family.
  • [46:18] Quickfire questions.

Lessons for intentional living:

  • Christine had an incredible career as an opera singer for 25 years. She didn’t let routine, age, or fear get in the way of her completely overhauling her life to pursue her passion, and she couldn’t be happier with the decision. 
  • Many people who went through something as traumatic as Christine did with her plane crash would let that be the last time they ever flew a plane. They would let the event define a part of their lives, and they’d let it make them much less happy as a result. The fact that Christine didn’t hesitate to get back in the sky and continue flying – her passion – is something we can all take inspiration from.