On This Day: Dwight Yoakam Involved in Nearly Fatal Plane Incident in 2013

by Matthew Wilson
Photo credit: Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Dwight Yoakam is lucky to be alive. On Dec. 14, 2013, the country music singer almost perished in a near-fatal plane incident. But fortunately, luck was on Yoakam’s side at the time.

Yoakam made headlines that year when the star’s private plane was grounded in an emergency landing. The plane landed at Van Nuys, California after the pilot made an emergency call, TMZ reported at the time. The pilot said the plane was on fire. Fortunately, the plane wasn’t actually in flames. But there was a lot of smoke and signs of a serious mechanical issue.

Yoakam had been traveling with nine other people, headed home from a performance in Canada. The plane in question was a twin-engine Hawker 800. The model has been involved in crashes before, such as incidents in 2008 and 2015, according to Flight Global. But investigations reported those crashes occurred due to pilot errors.

Dwight Yoakam Was Playing a Private Show

Before his brush with potential death, Yoakam was having a great year. The artist took home the Americana Music Honors and Awards for Artist of the Year. He also released his 18th studio album “3 Pears” a year prior in 2012. At the time, Yoakam played a private concert for a woman who became a millionaire. The woman had won a $7.6 million lottery and celebrated her 50th birthday in style as only millionaires could.

She hired Yoakam, who was known for his classic hits like “Honky Tonk Man,” “Guitars, Cadillacs,” and “Little Sister” to perform for the party. Yoakam has had a decades-long career that fortunately gets to continue. The country singer had a little luck of his own. Additionally, no one was injured in the emergency landing.

Musicians and plans don’t necessarily mix. Over the years, the industry has lost some of its most promising talents due to plane crashes. Otis Redding, members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper, and John Denver are among musicians to have died in plane crashes.

Fortunately on that day, Yoakam didn’t join their rank.