GUTHRIE, Okla. - News clippings give a glimpse of what happened to Matt Cole and two other instructors in a devastating 2001 plane crash in Florida.
It's not until you hear from Cole himself that you really understand just how far he's come.
"I was in so much pain, I was begging them to just finish it for me," remembers Cole.
Even after two months in a morphine-induced coma, followed by 20 surgeries, the end never came for Matt.
Instead, he set his hopes on something seemingly unreachable.
"Im back in the saddle, I have my own place," says Matt. "It's a dream come true."
'His own place' is Hangar #4 at the Guthrie-Edmond Regional Airport, the home of Blue Skies Flight School.
Most of us couldn't imagine stepping foot into a plane after half our body was consumed in the flames of a fiery crash.
Cole's teaching others to fly just 14 years later.
Although, getting back on the runway three years after the accident wasn't a breeze.
"I was scared. It was scary," says Cole. "Believe it or not, he brought the very same type of plane that we crashed in. I said couldn't you have gotten anything else?"
A coincidence Cole can now laugh off.
When it comes to his teaching methods, he's more serious than ever.
He says the crash taught him powerful lessons that he wants to pass on to his students.
"You just never think that it could go so horribly wrong, (but) today, everyday, I think about it. I think of all the different scenarios and all the things that can go wrong and I believe that it absolutely makes me a better pilot, for sure."
To learn more about Matt and Blue Skies Flight School, go to www.blueskiesflightschool.com or head out to his open house on Sunday, April 12 at 11:30 a.m. at 520 Airport Road in Guthrie, Oklahoma.