Clint Eastwood opens up about plane disaster
The movie star was hitching a lift to see his parents in Seattle when he found himself fighting for his life as Navy plane went down off the coast of California.
Clint Eastwood has opened up about his near-death emergency landing at sea.
The actor/director relived the terror as he filmed new movie Sully, which chronicles hero pilot Chesley Sullenberger's 'Miracle on the Hudson' water landing in 2009.
Clint previously told Parade magazine he also experienced an emergency water landing when the Navy plane, on which he was hitching a ride, had to ditch off the coast of California, adding, "I know the anxieties when the engines are out and you're heading toward the water."
He has now expanded on his own survival story in a new WENN interview, recalling the moment the plane crashed into the water off the coast of San Francisco and sank.
Eastwood reveals he was strapped into a compartment in the back of the plane used for radar when the flight went down.
"We took off in all kinds of bad weather and we had all kinds of problems with oxygen running out," he tells the outlet. "Finally we got to San Francisco; we were going to Alameda airbase and it was very stormy. The radios didn't work so he went out to sea and finally found a hole through the clouds where you could see the Golden Gate Bridge in the background."
After hearing the pilot discuss technical problems, Clint buckled in for what he feared would be a bumpy ride and shortly afterwards the plane landed in the freezing water "when the engine gave out"
"We hit the water and bounced about pretty good, much like the plane does in Sullenberger's case, and then the plane went up and started sinking," Clint remembers. "I'm unbuckling to get out and the plane is facing downward but it had big flaps so I'm standing on the flap.
"The pilot comes down from up above where the cockpit was and he said, 'what do you think?' I said, 'it looks like we're going swimming.' And so we jumped in the water and started moving towards shore.
"Finally we made it in. He thought I had drowned and I thought he had drowned because we lost touch with each other because of the waves. I started hiking and ended in a relay station up on a cliff near Bolinas, California."
The near-death experience gave Clint an edge when it came to shooting scenes of Sullenberger's heroics.
"It was an interesting choice to direct this film," he jokes. "I guess I'm just about as knowledgeable as anybody could've gotten."
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