Matthew McConaughey Recalls Scary Plane Incident With Wife Camila Alves

Matthew McConaughey is looking back at his March flight with wife Camila Alves McConaughey, which he says dropped 4,000 feet before ultimately landing safely. Read more about their experience.

By Elyse Dupre Apr 12, 2023 2:34 PMTags
Watch: Matthew McConaughey Recalls Terrifying Plane Incident

Matthew McConaughey will never forget that flight.

The actor, 53, recently recalled a terrifying experience on a plane in which he revealed the aircraft he and his wife Camila Alves McConaughey were on dropped 4,000 feet before ultimately landing safely.

"You're in suspended disbelief," Matthew told Kelly Ripa on the April 12 episode of her Let's Talk Off Camera podcast. "I mean, it's zero gravity. 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—and then everything just comes crashing down, yeah, it was a hell of a scare. A complete loss of control, 100 percent feeling of I am not in control. I have no way to get control of this situation in the moment." 

The Oscar winner and Camila were on a March 1 Lufthansa flight when the incident occurred. As the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority previously told E! News, the plane had been traveling from Austin, Texas, to Frankfurt, Germany, and ended up diverting to Washington Dulles International Airport after experiencing "significant turbulence." After the incident, seven people were taken to local hospitals for injuries believed to be minor.

Matthew McConaughey's Family Photos

During the podcast, Matthew remembered how he hadn't been wearing his seat belt when the turbulence started, noting that he immediately checked on Camila (The couple's three children were not on board).   

"My tray table is what held me down," he said. "I did not have my seat belt on, and there was not a seatbelt warning right before it happened. Yeah, I just immediately reached over, made sure Camila had her seat belt on, held hands there just saying, 'OK, is that it? Is another one coming?' Another one did come."

The Interstellar actor also detailed how their fellow passengers responded to the situation.

"It was odd," he continued. "You hear people's reactions. Some people were ghost silent. Some people had [a] big burst of laughter….And it was not like, 'Oh this is fun.' It was like, 'I'm in shock.' And then, you know how it is on a plane, if you see the flight attendant not looking extremely confident, you're like, 'Uh oh.'"

Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

However, Matthew suggested that a pilot friend also on the flight helped reassure him that everything would be OK.

"As a person who's not a pilot, my mind goes to the actual engineering of the plane," he explained. "The steel, it buckled. And you go, 'How can something withstand that?' I happened to have a friend of mine sitting next to me who was a pilot, and he was calm as could be. I was like, 'Can the plane hold that?' And he was like, 'These things are so tested, that yes, don't worry about the plane, structurally it can hold that.' That was a big relief."

Still, the Dallas Buyers Club star called it, "The hairiest flight I've ever had by far."

Camila also recalled the incident in a March 2 Instagram post, posting footage from the aircraft after the turbulence. 

"Everything was flying everywhere," she wrote. "To respect the privacy of those around me that's all I am showing but the plane was a CHAOS And the turbulence keep on coming. The @lufthansa flight you are seeing on the news today!!!! Yes…that one. Thank God everyone was safe and ok."

Lufthansa issued a statement as well.

"Lufthansa regrets the inconvenience caused to passengers," the company said in an email to NBC News. "The safety and well-being of passengers and crew members is Lufthansa's top priority at all times."

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