Jackson Rathbone of “The Twilight Saga” fame was with his wife and son on the Texas-bound JetBlue flight that lost an engine Wednesday and had to emergency land at Long Beach Airport -- and he logged the experience play-by-play on his WhoSay account.
Rathbone, who played vampire Jasper Hale in the five movie adaptations of Stephenie Meyer’s books, thanked Jesus and the pilot of the Airbus A320 after he was off the plane.
“We were on @jetblue flight 1416 to Austin from Long Beach. Our right engine exploded and our cabin filled with smoke,” the 29-year-old wrote, posting pictures from the scene with each comment. “The oxygen masks did not deploy, but the brave stewardesses came around and manually deployed them. It was rough, the plane was rocking...”
The right engine had blown, the actor heard over the public address system as he hugged his family and said the Lord’s Prayer. The 142 passengers and five crew members braced themselves as they “careened around” back to the airport, Rathbone said.
The single-aisle A320 has an engine on each wing.
The plane landed safely around 9:30 a.m., about 15 minutes after takeoff, airport officials told L.A. Now. A warning that an engine was overheating had come on shortly after takeoff, and according to the Long Beach Fire Department the pilot used an “extinguishing agent” on the engine after the malfunction. The plane had gotten to around 9,400 feet before turning around, officials said.
“The doors were thrown open, once on the Tarmac. The stewardesses yelled for us to get out and as far away from the airplane as possible,” Rathbone wrote. “I grabbed my son and jumped down the inflated ramp, my wife following. We left all our personal effects onboard. Who cares. We were alive.”
In a later note, the “Last Airbender” actor admitted the ramp jump was actually kind of fun.
The passengers were then put on buses and taken to “some @jetblue ‘sorry you’re plane’s engine exploded’ room at the LB airport,” he said, where they filled out forms.
A while later, Rathbone, wife Sheila Hafsadi and son Monroe Jackson Rathbone VI, 2, were on another JetBlue plane and once again headed for Austin. To wrap up his breaking-news report, he posted a picture of a freebie snack he’d been given along the way.
“The coveted @jetblue ‘sorry the engine blew up mid-flight’ bag of chips,” he wrote.
“Now I can say this experience was all that... and a bag of chips.”
Sounds like a man who’s recovered from the trauma -- or at least recovered his sense of humor.