David Jackson, USA TODAY
A 1981 assassination attempt wasn't Ronald Reagan's only brush with death during his presidency.
On Aug. 1, 1983 -- thirty years ago this past Thursday -- a massive microburst of cold wind struck the Washington, D.C., area, just minutes after Air Force One landed at Andrews Air Force Base with Reagan aboard.
In 1985, a similar microburst would bring down a plane at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
From the Washington Post:
"As the so-called (1983) microburst slammed into the ground and fanned out in all directions, the wind speed was clocked at 149 mph (at the time, the highest-ever measured wind speed by an anemometer).
"Just six minutes before this wind gust was measured, Air Force One had landed at Andrews, with President Ronald Reagan aboard. His timing was extraordinarily fortunate.
"'The pilot was aware of storms in the area, but apparently no warning had been issued of possible wind shear -- sudden reversals of wind direction,' describes a 1984 account from the New York Times. 'The plane landed on a dry runway and was parked before the microburst struck.'"