For a busy actor like Jace Norman, taking an airplane from city to city has become "no big deal" over the years. He'd pop in his headphones, grab a snack, watch a movie and check out the awesome views from his window. But that all changed four years ago, when the Henry Danger star found himself in a scary situation mid-air.
In an exclusive interview with J-14, Jace recalled the terrifying moment.
"I was 12 years old at the time," he told us. "The experience was just crazy. I remember sitting in my seat and I could smell gas. I thought that was weird, but I didn't think much into it until I heard there had been a gas leak and we had to land ASAP!"
With hundreds of frightening thoughts running through his head at once, Jace couldn't believe what was happening.
"Everyone was panicking — including me," Jace explained. "I was having a panic attack the entire time and couldn't help but think we were going to crash."
As the plane started to descend for its emergency landing, Jace didn't know what to expect.
"When we finally landed, it was really rough," he opened up. "It like dropped, which was really scary, but I felt so relieved to finally be back on the ground!"
And while Jace has luckily never experienced another flight like that, to this day, he can't stop thinking about the incident.
"It was a really bad plane experience," he admits. "The situation traumatized me."
In fact, Jace tells J-14 that he no longer likes flying.
"I've traveled alone a couple times since then, and it's not fun for me," he confesses. "I still have flashbacks of that experience whenever I'm flying and I start having panic attacks onboard that usually last the whole plane ride. To be honest, it probably wasn't until last year that I started to feel a little better while flying and felt like I was maybe starting to get over my fear a little."
After such a scary plane ride, it's not surprising that Jace says his fears haven't just disappeared overnight.
"Anxiety is something I constantly battle with, but I don't want to let it get the best of me," he tells J-14. "I try to stay logical, and I think if you have a fear of something, the best thing you can do is not let your imagination be more powerful than the actual facts — that's what helps me."
We're so glad to hear that, Jace!
Interview and story by Morgan McMurrin. "Jace's near-death experience: 'I thought my plane was going to crash!'" originally appeared in the May 2017 issue of J-14.