John Travolta Details Near-Death Experience Piloting Plane
John Travolta is recalling a near-death experience after wrapping up his latest project, The Shepherd. The Pulp Fiction alum told the BBC about the near-fatal experience he had while piloting a plane with his family on board. The Disney+ short is based on the 1975 novella by Frederick Forsyth, which tells the story of a young Royal Air Force pilot (Ben Radcliffe) attempting to land safely after suffering an electrical failure mid-air and requires assistance from another pilot (Travolta). While at the screening in London over the weekend, the actor, 69, tells the publication that he experienced a “total electrical failure, not in a Vampire but a corporate jet, over Washington D.C., prior to my discovering the book.”
The Oscar-winner said that the book resonsated with him due to his personal experience. In 1995, the licensed actor revealed in a New Yorker interview that he was forced to make an emergency landing at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport with his family in 1992. “I had two jet engines, but I had no instruments, no electric, nothing,” he said at the London screening, noting it taught him “what it felt like to absolutely think you’re going to die.”
Overcoming a Dire Situation
Thinking it was all over, Travolta said his co-star beautifully captured the despair of when you think you’re actually going to die. “I had my family on board, and I said, ‘This is it. I can’t believe I’m going to die in this plane.’” Thankfully, Travolta knew to land at the airport once he spotted the Washington D.C. monument in the air. He told the BBC, “I made a landing just like [Freddie] does in the film. So I’m reading this book saying, ‘I’ve lived this.’” Travolta first had the idea of starring in The Shepherd more than three decades ago. The Shepherd debuts on Disney+ on Friday, December 1. The 38-minute-long short film also stars Millie Kent, Simon Wilson, and Steven Mackintosh.