John Travolta is a well-known name in the film community. Starring in movies like Grease, Pulp Fiction, and Hairspray, Travolta has made quite the name for himself. What most people don’t know is that John is also famous in the aviation community. That’s right, the actor has been a well-established pilot since he was in his early twenties. The actor has had an interest in flying since his early teens and made both of his dreams a reality. But, with flying comes risks and John faced death in an airplane not too long ago. If you want to know more about this close encounter, make sure to watch till the end as we’ve saved the best for last.
His early career
John Travolta was born in New Jersey in 1954. By the age of 16 years old, John had already dropped out of Highschool to pursue a career in acting. He made his television debut in the TV series named “Welcome Back Kotter” in 1975. The series stayed on the air for several seasons, leading Travolta into an even bigger role in the industry. He landed roles in movies such as Saturday Night Fever and Grease. Starring in such successful movies, it seemed as if the rest was history. Travolta was a national sensation and has continued his acting career until this day.
John married his wife, Actress Kelly Preston, in 1991. He met his wife in 1987 when they were filming the movie, The Experts. After years of dating the couple flew to France and were married by a Scientologist minister. Days after returning to the U.S., the couple found out that their marriage was not legal and that would have to re-marry. The couple went on to continue their acting careers and eventually parent 3 children: Ella, Ben, and Jett. In 2009, tragedy struck when the family had to bury their youngest son, Jett Travolta. During a vacation to the Bahamas, their son had a seizure in their family vacation home. The son fell and struck his head on the bathtub and was declared dead shortly after. The family has publicly spoken about the incident since and they are still heartbroken to this day. Just 16 months after the death of their son, the family announced that they were having another child. His wife, Kelly, was unexpectedly pregnant at the age of 47 years old! In 2011 the family welcomed baby Benjamin into their home. The family is very open about how they saw their new child as a blessing and a new purpose in life. Most recently, John experienced the loss of his beloved wife due to Breast Cancer. On July 12th, 2020, his wife Kelly had lost her 2 year battle with the disease. The family is devastated and has asked for privacy while they navigate these challenging times ahead.
John and his family have experienced a lot of personal loss over the years but they have persevered and continued to find peace and comfort through their relationships.
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His Love for Aviation
John has been obsessed with airplanes since he was a young child. He loved flying so much when he was a kid that he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and begin taking flying lessons. At age 15 he flew his first supervised flight and continued to do so even after he dropped out of school a year later to pursue acting. Interestingly enough, Travolta’s first passion wasn’t acting, it was flying. He stayed consistent with the flying lessons and when he reached the age of 24 he had earned his pilots’ license. John was a busy man during that time because he earned this license was he was also starring in the hit film, Grease. The actor still flys today and it fortunate enough to park his airplanes right outside of his front door. As one can imagine, there are huge perks that come with owning airplanes. John and his family are able to leave at a moment’s notice to go on lavish vacations. Not only are the planes used for leisure, but John is also known to fly himself to different cities all around the world when he has an acting opportunity. The actor claims that his passion for flying is so grand that all he has to think about when he is feeling down is his airplanes and being up in the sky. He stated in an interview that besides convenience, he keeps his planes by his front doorstep so he can turn to them for comfort.
His Home Airport
Having your own airport sounds crazy right? Not to John Travolta. The star has built a functional airport with multiple runways outside of his house located in Florida. Parked on the runways are his personal airplanes. The actor owns a $77 Million Dollar Qantas 707 and a $32 Million dollar Bombardier Challenger 601. It is highly unusual to have a personal airport but in addition to his impressive collection of rare planes, this makes Travolta stand out from many other actors who are aviation geeks.
The actor has been known for donating to charity in the past but how has he become such a big name in the aviation community? Besides being a well-known star, Travolta has partnered with Qantas, a large airline company based in Sydney, Australia. The actor has flown the airline’s planes in many promotional events to garner attention. Travolta was a public face of the company when the first direct flight from Sydney landed in the States. He has been a personal brand ambassador for the airline company since 2002 and he even kept his Qantas Boeing 707 parked outside of his home in Ocala, Florida. Recently in 2019, Travolta decided to donate his largest plane to the historical aircraft restoration society better known as H.A.R.S. The final resting place of the aircraft will be in a town close to Sydney, Australia where the plane was originally built. When the plane arrived at the facility it was scheduled to receive maintenance and restoration from some 700 ex-airline volunteers. Once the plane was completed being restored, it was placed for public display at the museum where it hopes to gain traction and popularity due to the famous owner. But don’t worry, John has plenty of planes to go around. He will miss his big plane but still has multiple to choose from any time he feels like flying.
His Close encounter with another plane
Though Travolta is a well establish pilot, everyone makes mistakes from time to time. But forgetting to pay a bill or getting a speeding ticket does not come with the consequences of making a mistake while flying a massive aircraft. In 1992, John made a mistake that could’ve ended disastrously for everyone involved. The actor was flying one of his smaller Gulfstream planes when suddenly his equipment malfunctioned, leaving the aircraft without power. As one does, John set course to make an emergency landing. Without power, he was unable to make communication with transmission towers or other airplanes nearby. Another airplane was directed to search for the pilot and his plane, but this ended up making the situation far more dangerous. Now, suddenly, without any warning or communication, two airplanes were traveling towards each other at speeds breaching 400 miles per hour. The planes ended up crossing paths and missing each other by a little less than two miles. Even though two miles seems like a large amount of space, it is disastrously close when moving so fast. Travolta ending up finding his way and landing safely at the Washington International Airport. The actor used the emergency brake to land and everyone on both planes remained safe. The actor rarely speaks about this incident, most likely to helo maintain his status as an experienced pilot. Travolta is not alone though! Other famous actors such as Harrison Ford have been placed in similar situations in their aviation careers. The Star Wars actor has been in the news on several occasions for close call situations where he wrongly landed on runways and narrowly escaped death. Harrison even crashed his 2 person plane on a golf course in 2015.
The actor struck fame at an early age and remains one of the most famous actors in the industry. From his love of acting to his love for aviation, his family remains the most important component in his life. He has been challenged time and time again but he stays strong for his children. The actor’s love for flying planes ironically kept him grounded through all of the trauma. He still flies planes today and sees flying as the one thing that will always be a constant in his life no matter what he faces. The actor has received some backlash for his hobby considering the dangers it poses. Do you think John should continue his career in flying or do you think he should take a break in order to care for his family? Let us know what you think in the comments. As always if you enjoyed this video please click the like button below and be sure to subscribe to our Channel for the latest celebrity updates!