John Travolta finally opens up about traumatic near-death experience – ‘I thought it was over’

3 minutes, 5 seconds Read

John Travolta has been through a lot of tough times in his life. From losing his first-born child in 2009 to losing the love of his life, his wife, Kelly Preston, in 2020 to breast cancer.

The actor has now opened up about another traumatic event in his life… keep reading to know more about this story.

In 1992, John Travolta was flying a corporate jet and had his young family on board; his wife, the late Kelly Preston, and their 8-month-old son Jett Travolta. The flight took off from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and was scheduled to land in Rockland, Maine, on Thanksgiving Day.

The family was headed to their island vacation home in Maine, to celebrate little Jett’s first Thanksgiving. According to a newspaper clipped from the time, the incident triggered the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) to suspend flights briefly at four airports.

Everything seemed to be going as planned when all of a sudden, the plane experienced “a total electrical failure,” recalls Travolta.


“I knew what it felt like to absolutely think you’re going to die,” the 69-year-old veteran actor recalled in a recent interview. The actor went on, “I had two good jet engines, but I had no instruments, no electric, nothing. And I thought it was over.”

Travolta was sure he was going to crash his Gulfstream II turbojet, but then a miracle occurred. “And then as if by a miracle, we descended as per the rules to lower altitude. I saw the Washington D.C. monument and identified that Washington National Airport was next to it and I made a landing just like [Freddie] does in the film,” the actor explained. According to reports from the time, the jet’s tires blew up during the emergency landing

Later on, an investigation revealed that everything could have been much worse and possibly deadly as Travolta’s aircraft nearly collided with a Boeing 727 carrying 182 passengers.


At the time of this incident, he was 38 years old. Later when he read Frederick Forsyth’s 1975 novel titled The Sheperd, he was inspired. The book has a similar story to one that Travolta experienced. The book tells the story of a young Royal Air Force pilot flying home for Christmas. The young pilot Freddie Hooke, also suffers from total electrical failure in his aircraft.

The miracle that Freddie encounters is a pilot who shows up out of nowhere and guides the young Air Force officer to a safe landing. Hooke is being played by Ben Radcliffe in the film.

“So when I read [Forsyth’s] book, it resonated even more because of this experience I had personally had,” Travolta explained.


Variety reported shortly after the incident that Travolta purchased his own de Havilland Vampire jet, the same jet mentioned in Forsyth’s novel.

“So, I’m reading this book saying, ‘I’ve lived this,’” the actor says, adding, “And of course, I was young enough then that I could have played this part [of Freddie]. But I had to wait 30 years to play the Shepherd.

The actor purchased the rights to the book but was unable to work on the project. He revealed, “Because it was right after Pulp Fiction, I was doing one move after another,” adding, “After 10 years, I just let it go and decided that I was never going to really get to do it.”

If you found this piece interesting, check out this one about Travolta’s emotional tribute to his late son.

This is such a shocker! I had no idea that John Travolta had such a scary incident happen in his life! Share this with others who are fans of the actor so they can know what inspired his latest project!

Similar Posts