Travolta Terrifying Flight: Facing Death Led to Soul-Stirring ‘The Shepherd’

Travolta Terrifying Flight: Facing Death Led to Soul-Stirring ‘The Shepherd’

During a special screening in London on Thanksgiving, 69-year-old actor John Travolta disclosed a harrowing experience known as the “Travolta Terrifying Flight.” This incident took place in 1992 when Travolta, piloting a corporate jet with his family on board, encountered a “total electrical failure” during the flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Rockland, Maine on Thanksgiving Day.

Recalling the ordeal at a screening of his new Disney+ film, The Shepherd, Travolta vividly described the panic of having no instruments or electricity while flying with two functional jet engines. “I knew what it felt like to absolutely think you’re going to die,” he shared. However, in a twist of fate, a “miracle” occurred as the aircraft descended to a lower altitude, allowing Travolta to spot the Washington D.C. monument and make a safe landing.

This near-death experience, which happened when Travolta was 38, inspired him to adapt Frederick Forsyth’s 1975 novel, “The Shepherd.” The book narrates the story of a young Royal Air Force pilot facing electrical failure, mirroring Travolta’s own distressing incident. In the film adaptation, Travolta portrays a pilot who guides the young pilot to a safe landing, similar to his real-life experience.

Travolta’s wife, Kelly Preston, and their then-7-month-old son, Jett (who tragically passed away in 2009), were on board during the incident. They were en route to their vacation home in Maine to celebrate Jett’s first Thanksgiving. The incident led the FAA to temporarily suspend flights at four airports, and an investigation revealed a near-miss with a Boeing 727 carrying 182 passengers.

Following the traumatic event, Travolta acquired the screen rights to Forsyth’s book and purchased a de Havilland Vampire jet, similar to the one depicted in the novel. Despite the acquisition, he had to wait 30 years to bring “The Shepherd” to the screen due to his busy schedule after the success of “Pulp Fiction.” Travolta explained that, after a decade, he had to let go of the project, thinking he would never get the opportunity to bring it to fruition.

Recommended for you

About Author

Ingrid Mueller

Ingrid Mueller, a literary expert with a Ph.D. in Literature from Yale University, brings a touch of artistry to her writing. Her critical analyses and cultural insights provide a fresh perspective on trending news. Ingrid's articles are a treat for those seeking a deeper understanding of the world around them. Explore the trends through her unique lens.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *