Rathbone, his wife, Sheila Hafsadi, and their 2-year-old son were on a JetBlue flight headed to Austin, Texas, when the plane's engine malfunctioned and exploded mid-flight. The incident happened about a half hour after takeoff and the pilot had to reverse the Airbus A320 aircraft's course back to the airport of origin in Long Beach.
Jackson, who was one of 142 passengers on the plane, documented the whole ordeal on Twitter, posting messages and photos throughout the flight and its aftermath.
The flight began as usual for the unsuspecting Twilight actor and his family. He posted a message saying, "Watching #pawnstars on my @jetblue flight. All flights should have TVs on em. And all channels should have #chumlee on em." Along with the post, the actor added a photo of his in-seat television screen.
But things drastically took a turn for the bad when the engine malfunctioned, filling the cabin with smoke and sending the plane on a rough and nerve-racking trek back to land.
"We were on @jetblue flight 1416 to Austin from Long Beach," Rathbone tweeted. "Our right engine exploded and our cabin filled with smoke."
Another tweet read, "I recited the Lord's Prayer as I held my son and my wife in my arms. The pilot came on the PA and let us know we lost the right engine."
I recited the Lord's Prayer as I held my son and my wife in my arms. The pilot came on the PA and let us know we los… http://t.co/izyrqaNRTn— Jackson Rathbone (@JacksonRathbone) September 18, 2014
As the plane approached the Long Beach Airport, passengers were told to brace themselves as they raced back to land. "Over the PA, the pilot yelled 'Brace!' The stewardesses made it into a chant," Rathbone continued. "I wrapped my arm around us. And we braced."
Once landed, the crew told all passengers to go down the inflated slides and onto the tarmac, away from the plane. When everyone was out and safe, Rathbone, his family and fellow plane passengers were directed to a room in the airport so they could fill out the obligatory paperwork. "There's a form for everything. Even when the engine goes out on your plane a thousand feet in the air," he tweeted.
He ended his scary adventure's documentary with, "The coveted @jetblue 'sorry the engine blew up mid-flight' bag of chips. Now I can say this experience was all that... and a bag of chips."
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