The plane crash that nearly killed Travis Barker.

For 13 years, Travis Barker didn't step on a plane.

The Blink-182 drummer was involved in a deadly plane crash in 2008, which led to a long road to recovery, both physically and mentally, for the musician.

In August 2021, over a decade after the incident, Barker overcame his fear of flying, embarking on a flight with his now-wife, Kourtney Kardashian.

"With you, anything is possible," Barker wrote, sharing a photo with Kardashian in front of Kylie Jenner's private jet.

"Anything and everything with you," Kardashian commented. 

Travis Barker and Kourtney Kardashian. Image: Instagram/travisbarker


The couple have since flown to Italy together for their May 2022 wedding, and just this week, touched down in Australia for Blink-182's ONE MORE TIME! tour.

Speaking to Men's Health in May 2021, Barker opened up about his experience with post-traumatic stress disorder following the crash, sharing that he was keen to face his fear of flying.

"I have to. I want to make the choice to try to overcome it," he said. 

"I could die riding my skateboard. I could get in a car accident. I could get shot. Anything could happen. I could have a brain aneurysm and die. So why should I still be afraid of airplanes?"

On September 19, 2008, Barker and his longtime collaborator, DJ AM (Adam Michael Goldstein), boarded a private plane after performing together at an event in Columbia, South Carolina.

According to Barker, the trip was a special occasion. 

"We all thought it was kind of a treat — we were on a private plane," he said.

But just before midnight, as the plane was taking off, Barker and the other passengers heard a loud bang.

After the pilots aborted takeoff, the plane crashed into an embankment and burst into flames on a nearby highway.


Before the plane exploded, Barker and Goldstein jumped out of the plane's emergency exit door.

"When I jumped through the emergency exit when the plane blew up, I was in such a hurry to exit the plane I jumped right into the jet, which is full of fuel," Barker told Joe Rogan on his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience.

"My whole body lit up. I had jet fuel in my whole body. I burped jet fuel for almost three months [later]," he continued. 

"When I jumped into the jets, I started running... I was ripping off my clothes because that’s what my instinct told me to do... but little did I know I was still on fire because I was soaked in jet fuel."

Travis Barker and DJ AM in 2006. Image: Getty. While Barker and Goldstein survived, Barker's security guard Charles "Che" Still, his assistant Chris Baker, pilot Sarah Lemmon and co-pilot James Bland were killed. Less than a year later, Goldstein died from an overdose.


Meanwhile, Barker suffered burns to 65 per cent of his body. Following the accident, he spent more than 11 weeks in hospital and underwent 16 surgeries.

"When I was in the hospital, I was on so many drugs I didn’t even know my two friends had passed away. I didn’t know the pilots had passed away. I didn’t remember anything," Barker shared on The Joe Rogan Experience

"I kept thinking everyone was in the hospital, including the two pilots and including my best friends. I thought everyone was in different rooms until two weeks before I left. Then I went crazy... I wasn’t in a good place."

While recovering in hospital, the drummer tried to pay his friends to take his life.

"[They] had to take my phone out of my room because I was making these phone calls," Barker shared on Good Morning America. 

"I would call friends of mine and go, 'You know, I’ll deposit a million dollars into whoever’s bank account. Like, I’m done.'"

Thankfully, Barker's two children, Landon and Alabama, helped him through the difficult period.


"Learning how to walk again and being able to take a shower by myself again... they were the good points that helped me turn a corner," he told Rogan.

Alabama Luella Barker, Travis Barker and Landon Asher Barker in 2019. Image: Getty. In the years since the crash, Barker only played Blink-182 shows when he could travel to the venue by car or boat. 

In 2013, Barker shared that he would "knock himself out and get on a plane" to join the band at Australia's Soundwave Festival. However, he was later replaced on the tour by another drummer after changing his mind.


Speaking to Men's Health, Barker opened up further about his fear of flying.

"If I saw a plane [in the sky], I was determined it was going to crash, and I just didn't want to see it," he said. 

"The closer I was to it, it felt like I was closer to the bad stuff than I am to the good stuff. I felt closer to the experience of trying to escape, [to] being in an accident and being burned, trying to grab my friends from a burning plane."

Barker went public with his relationship with Kourtney Kardashian in February 2021. However, the pair were friends and even neighbours long before they began dating. 

They have since married and welcomed their first child, a son named Rocky.

Kourtney Kardashian, Travis Barker and Rocky Barker. Image: Instagram/@travisbarker


Barker was previously married to actress Shanna Moakler.

The former couple married in 2004, before Barker filed for divorce in 2006. They have two children together — Landon Asher Barker, 20, and Alabama Luella Barker, 18.

During their relationship, the family appeared in a reality TV series, Meet the Barkers, which aired on MTV.

On the other hand, Kardashian has three children with her ex-partner Scott Disick — Mason, 13, Penelope, 11, and Reign, nine.

If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner. If you're based in Australia, 24-hour support is available through Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

This article was originally published in August 2021, and has since been updated with new information.

Feature Image: Getty.

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