John Travolta shares near-death experience while piloting plane with family

"I knew what it felt like to absolutely think you’re going to die."

by Sead Dedovic
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John Travolta shares near-death experience while piloting plane with family
© Sarah Morris / Getty Images Entertainment

At the London premiere of the film, actor John Travolta joined writer-director Iain Softley for a Q&A session with the audience. During the conversation, Travolta shared a chilling moment from 1992 when he, as a licensed pilot, survived a near-fatal plane crash.

In such moments, he certainly felt a great panic and accepted that maybe the end had come! “I actually experienced a total electrical failure, not in a Vampire, but in a corporate jet over Washington, D.C.,” Travolta told Variety.

So when I read [Frederick Forsyth’s book of the same name], it resonated even more because of this experience I had personally had”. John Travolta thought that at some point he would experience death. He didn't know what to do in those moments.

He had no instruments and no electric. “I knew what it felt like to absolutely think you’re going to die. I had two good jet engines, but I had no instruments, no electric, nothing. And I thought it was over”.

John Travolta explains

Travolta described how he got out of the situation. It was necessary for him to remain calm in such moments. "I had the equivalent of seven failures ? contagious failures,” Travolta said. “I claimed an Emergency over the radio.

And then everything went. I had one gyro. No flaps. No reverse thrust. When I fly, I find great objectivity up there. And I found I was calm. In flying school, they give you what they call a black cockpit. So I felt I’d been there before”.

In such moments, Travolta showed that he had skills. Finding yourself in such a situation and then calmly saving yourself is certainly a difficult thing and requires mental strength. “And then as if by a miracle, we descended as per the rules to a lower altitude.

I saw that Washington, D.C., monument and identified that Washington National Airport was right next to it, and I made a landing just like [pilot Freddie Hooke] does in the film”.

John Travolta
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