When was Travis Barker in a plane crash? Blink 182 drummer's injuries and fear explained
Travis Barker is reported to have flown from Los Angeles to Mexico on Saturday 14 August, for the first time since he was scarred by a life-changing plane crash.
The crash took place in 2008, as he and his friend and fellow passenger DJ AM took off in a private plane with Barker's security guard Charles Still and his assistant Chris Baker.
Barker and DJ Adam ‘AM’ Goldstein were the only two to survive the crash, while sustaining horrific injuries.
So, what injuries did Barker sustain and what has he said about flying since? This is what you need to know.
Who is Travis Barker?
Travis Landon Barker is an American musician, songwriter and producer best known as the drummer in rock band Blink-182, though he is also a member of rap rock band Transplants.
Barker was raised in California with his two siblings and parents. His mother Gloria passed away on his first day of high school after suffering from Sjögren syndrome.
He began taking drumming lessons aged six and he continued to refine his musical talents throughout school while also describing himself as a ‘stoner’ during his time at high school.
The drummer left school and became a binman, while performing with several local punk bands. He then replaced the original drummer for Blink in 1997 and soon became an international star.
Barker has enjoyed a successful drumming career, named by Rolling Stones magazine as one of the top 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time, as well as “Punk's first superstar drummer”.
As well as his successful career as a drummer, the 45-year-old founded clothing company Famous Stars and Straps in 1999 and LaSalle Records in 2004.
Barker was involved in a plane crash in 2008 when the plane wheel went on fire during takeoff, he was treated for his burns in hospital for 11 weeks, and ABC News later reported he was in so much pain he offered to pay friends $1M to end his life.
He released a memoir titled ‘Can I Say: Living Large, Cheating Death, and Drums, Drums, Drums, in 2015’, where he talks about his lifelong fear of flying and now refuses to fly, choosing to take a boat to Europe and a tour bus everywhere else.
He also became a vegan in 2008, having been a vegetarian since the 1990s.
What happened to Travis Barker?
In September 2008, Barker finished playing at a gig in South Carolina and then boarded a private jet with friend and collaborator, Goldstein.
Also onboard were two pilots, Barker’s security guard and his assistant, Charles Still and Chris Baker.
During takeoff, the tires blew, and the plane overran the runway, skidded across a highway, hit an embankment, and burst into flames.
The two pilots, Still and Baker died in the crash – Travis and Goldstein were able to escape through an emergency exit, while the plane threw flames into the air.
Barker was engulfed in engine fuel and ignited by the flames, despite this, he managed to sprint across the runway and Goldstein managed to suffocate the flames.
The crash was attributed to under-inflated tyres, which punctured under the weight of the jet.
What injuries did Barker suffer?
Due to the petrol-fuelled fire, Barker sustained third degree burns to over 65 per cent of his body.
He underwent 26 operations and skin graphs during an 11-week-long stay in hospital.
Barker, who had already endured a life-long fear of flying, vowed not to fly ever again. He has since spoke about his fear and has been diagnosed with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
Less than a year after the catastrophic plane crash, Goldstein was found dead after an accidental overdose of cocaine and prescription medication.
What has Barker since said about flying?
In 2011, Barker said that he would consider hypnotherapy as a means of overcoming his fear of flying.
However, he continued to avoid planes and instead announced plans in 2016 to tour Europe by boat.
He also cancelled tour dates in Australia in 2013.
Barker has said he fears seeing planes near him, as he he worries they are going to crash and he will witness the tragedy unfold.
In an interview with Men’s Health, he described how he felt in the aftermath of the accident.
“I was dark,” Barker said, “I couldn’t walk down the street. 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.
“The closer I was to it, it felt like I was closer to the bad stuff than I am to the good stuff,” he added. “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.”
However, he also said he intended to fly again, “ I want to make the choice to try and overcome it.”
On 2 June, he tweeted “I might fly again” and has since explained that he would do so by allowing someone else to arrange the flight and only giving him warning a day or so before he travels.
Until now, he and his jet-setting girlfriend Kourtney Kardashian have managed to travel around the US without boarding a flight together.
Has Travis Barker flew since the 2008 accident?
On 14 August, Barker reportedly boarded a flight with Kardashian.
The flight was heading from Los Angeles to Cabo, Mexico. The journey takes approximately two hours and 20 minutes.
“It’s a huge deal that Travis flew to Cabo. The plane crash many years ago was extremely traumatising. He has needed a lot of help to get to this point,” a source told PEOPLE. “Kourtney has been very supportive. She never pushed for him to fly. They have managed to travel in the US without having to fly and Kourtney has been totally fine with it.”