‘Hell of a scare’: Matthew McConaughey details experience onboard turbulent flight out of Austin

The actor said he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt when the turbulence occurred and that there was no seatbelt warning

FILE - Actor Matthew McConaughey attends A+E Network's "HISTORYTalks: Leadership and Legacy" on Feb. 29, 2020, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File) (Evan Agostini, ©2020 Evan Agostini)

AUSTIN – Texas actor Matthew McConaughey is speaking out about the “hairiest flight” he’s ever been on just over a month ago out of Austin that had “significant turbulence.”

McConaughey recently joined Kelly Ripa on her podcast, “Let’s Talk Off Camera” and detailed his experience aboard Lufthansa Flight 469, which was headed to Frankfurt, Germany on March 3.

His wife Camila Alves McConaughey was also on board the flight, but their kids were not. The McConaugheys were among the 172 passengers on the plane.

According to The Associated Press, the turbulence happened 90 minutes after takeoff and the aircraft dropped about 4,000 feet in the air.

When the plane dropped, Matthew said it felt like “zero gravity.”

“You’re suspended in disbelief. It’s zero gravity,” Matthew said on the podcast. “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 -- 1, 2, 3, 4, and then everything just comes crashing down. It was a hell of a scare.”

As the turbulence rattled the aircraft, Matthew said his seatbelt had not been buckled at the time and there was no seatbelt warning before it happened.

“Actually, my tray table is what held me down,” he said. “I just merely reached over, made sure Camila had her seatbelt on. Held hands there, just saying, ‘Okay, is that it? Is there another one coming? Another one did come.”

Matthew said the reactions of the other passengers ranged from silence to “a big burst of laughter,” or shock. Even the flight attendants appeared unsettled, Matthew said.

“You see the flight attendant not looking extremely confident, you’re like ‘uh oh,’” he said.

The flight was diverted to Dulles International Airport in the Washington, D.C. area, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

After the plane landed, several people were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries.

“It was... the hairiest flight I’ve ever had by far,” Matthew said. “... From now on, I always have my own pilot.”

Camila McConaughey also spoke out about the scary flight on her Instagram. You can hear her recollection of events below:

You can hear the rest of Matthew’s recollection of the flight here. His recap of the flight begins around the seven-minute mark.

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About the Author:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.