John Travolta shared a rare glimpse Saturday of his 8-year-old son Ben riding shotgun in the cockpit of a Qantas airplane. Ben mom is Travolta’s wife Kelly Preston; the couple have been married since 1991.
“His first A380 @qantas flight,” Travolta captioned the Instagram image that featured Ben donning a pilot’s hat and sitting in the pilot’s seat next to a young friend.
“My son Ben is taking my place,” Travolta added, referring to his ambassador status with the Australia-based carrier for nearly two decades.
The “Grease” alum is a licensed private pilot who has served as a Qantas ambassador since June 2002, according to the airline. Travolta joined Qantas’ Spirit of Friendship tour that year to encourage travel following the 9/11 attacks.
“The tour began on 1 July 2002, with John piloting his Boeing 707, painted in its original 1960s Qantas branding and livery,” Qantas’ website reads. “Upon commencing our Spirit of Friendship Tour, John was presented with his 747-400 ‘wings,’ having undergone extensive training with Qantas in Sydney and Boeing in Seattle.”
Travolta owns a former Qantas Boeing 707.
It appears that Travolta’s love of aviation was sparked as a child, much like his young son.
“John Travolta first became aware of Qantas as a boy, when his fascination with all things aviation began,” the airline’s website says. “He was struck by Qantas’ safety record and the fact that it flew the longest routes in the world.”
The actor’s favorite toy when he was his son’s age was a toy airplane.
“So when I was 8-years-old, this was the state-of-the-art toy,” Travolta said on Instagram in September, before giving a takeoff tutorial with the toy.
On National Aviation Day in August, Travolta wrote on Instagram, “I have loved aviation for all my life. There is no feeling in the world quite like flying an airplane.”
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in Ben’s case.
Travolta and Preston are also the parents of 19-year-old daughter Ella. The couple’s eldest son, Jett, died on Jan. 2, 2009, at age 16 after having a seizure while the family was on vacation in the Bahamas.
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