Feds Blame Bad Tires on Travis Barker-DJ AM Learjet Crash

Federal investigators say underinflated tires initiated a deadly chain of events that nearly killed Travis Barker and DJ AM

By Josh Grossberg Apr 06, 2010 4:50 PMTags
DJ AM, Travis Barker plane crashAP Photo

The verdict is in and pretty much confirms what's been suspected all along.

National Transportation Safety Board officials cited underinflated tires as the cause of the 2008 Learjet crash that killed four people and seriously injured Travis Barker and DJ AM.

Investigators announced today that one of the plane's tires blew as it sped toward takeoff. The captain—who only had 35 hours of flight time on the Learjet 60 and had not been properly trained to handle such incidents—made the split-second, and ultimately tragic, decision to abort.

Unfortunately, the jet was traveling at 150 mph, too fast to come to a safe halt. As the pilots applied the brakes, all four tires exploded, damaging the jet's hydraulic system, the brakes and the reverse thrusters used to reduce speed on landings. That chain of events caused the jet to skid off the runway and across a small highway, where it slammed into an embankment.

The Blink-182 drummer and star DJ were the only ones able to escape the inferno, though not before sustaining severe burns. The injuries led AM to begin abusing pain medication, and he died last August of an accidental drug overdose. Both Barker and AM's estate have settled lawsuits stemming from the crash.


DJ AM died too young, but still left plenty for us to remember.