John Travolta Reveals Near-Death Experience While Flying Plane With Family

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Mariane Angela Contributor
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John Travolta opened up about how the plane he was flying almost crashed due to an engine failure, BBC reported Friday.

During a recent London screening of his short movie “The Shepherd,” Travolta shared a near death experience while he was piloting a plane with his entire family onboard, according to BBC. The 69-year-old actor, renowned for his role in “Grease” and an Oscar recipient, is also a skilled pilot.

Travolta’s ordeal parallels the plot of “The Shepherd,” based on Frederick Forsyth’s 1975 novel. The film depicts a young Royal Air Force pilot, played by Ben Radcliffe, with electrical failure in his plane. This coincidence resonated with the actor, who faced a similar life-threatening situation, per BBC. (RELATED: ‘She Fought A Courageous Fight’: John Travolta Announces The Death Of His Wife Kelly Preston, 57)

“The kismet of the project is, I actually experienced a total electrical failure, not in a Vampire but a corporate jet, over Washington D.C., prior to my discovering the book,” Travolta shared, per BBC. “So when I read the book, it resonated more because of this experience I’d personally had.”

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

“And I thought it was over, just like this boy, portrayed so beautifully [by actor Ben Radcliffe]. He captured that despair when you think you’re actually going to die,” the actor added, per BBC. “I had my family on board and I said, ‘This is it, I can’t believe I’m going to die in this plane.”

Despite the engine failure, he was able to land the plane safely. He continued “And then, as if by a miracle, we descended to a lower altitude, I saw the Washington DC Monument and identified that Washington National Airport was right next to it and I made a landing just like [character Freddie] does in the film. So I’m reading this book saying, I’ve lived this.”