Recently, actor Matthew McConaughey and his wife Camila Alves experienced a severe bout of turbulence during a Lufthansa flight from Austin, Texas, to Frankfurt, Germany. In a preview clip of his upcoming appearance on the Let’s Talk Off Camera podcast, McConaughey recounted the harrowing experience.
“It’s suspended disbelief. I mean, it’s zero gravity,” explained McConaughey.
McConaughey elaborated on when the plane dropped by saying he “immediately reached over, made sure Camila had her seatbelt on.
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The plane suddenly dropped almost 4,000 feet, and McConaughey immediately checked to ensure his wife had her seatbelt on. He explained that the tray table held him down, as he did not have a seatbelt on. McConaughey also shared that he had a pilot friend sitting next to him who was able to remain calm and reassure him that the plane could structurally hold the turbulence.
“My tray table is what held me down,” he shared with podcast host Kelly Ripa. “I did not have my seatbelt on, and there was not a seatbelt warning right before it happened,” he added, calling the experience a “hell of a scare.”
“Your red wine and the glass and the plates that your food was on are all suspended, floating, still just in the air. And to look at it for that long, which wasn’t that long — one, two, three, four [seconds] — and then everything just comes crashing down,” he continued.
“I happened to have a friend of mine sitting next to me who was a pilot. And he was calm as could be,” said McConaughey. “I was like, ‘Can the plane hold that?’ And he was like, ‘These things are so tested that yes, don’t worry, the plane structurally can hold that.’ That was a big relief.”
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed that Lufthansa Flight 469 was in the air above Tennessee when it encountered turbulence. Seven passengers on board were injured and had to be hospitalized. The plane was able to land without incident at Dulles International Airport in Virginia at 9:10 pm that evening.
The FAA has since launched an investigation into the incident. In the meantime, the FAA also recommends that passengers follow the safety instructions of their flight crew and wear seatbelts at all times, even when the seatbelt sign has been turned off.