So I’m standing in the lobby of Atlantic-AUS last night at about 1030, waiting on a passenger, when a 707 with a classic Qantas paint scheme pulls up on the ramp. Being the most interesting thing I’d seen in the last 6 hours I walk out on the tarmac and observe the crew service each engine with a step ladder and a bottle of liquid(oil I assume).

Before I have the opportunity to actually assess this and figure it out(I’d never seen this thing-only heard of it) Here he comes, down the ramp with his son and another kid, Mr Saturday Night Fever himself.

“How are you”? with an extended hand and a smile. “Good, and yourself”? “good.”

“love your work”

“thanks, do you work here?”

“no, just waiting on a passenger” pointing to the airplane.

“oh, you’re with the Merlin-how is THAT to fly”?

“probably a little slower than what you’re used to”

he chuckles-headed to the desk-“probably so”

nice guy, good handshake, BEAUTIFUL airplane.

Not all Scientologists are off their rocker in all aspects of life…

But this scientologist seems to forget that a 707 needs a crew of three - a fact omitted every time I hear Mr. Look-at-me-and-my-pilot’s-uniform-ain’t-it-grand talk about flying the 707. By the way, Travolta’s not even rated to fly as pilot-in-command of the 707. He only has a second-in-command certification.

Search Airmen Certificate Information (emphasis mine)

FAA Registry
Name Inquiry Results


Street 15821 VENTURA BLVD STE 460
City ENCINO State CA
County LOS ANGELES Zip Code 91436-4778
Country USA


Medical Class: First Medical Date: 8/2007

1 of 1

DOI: 12/12/2005
Certificate: PRIVATE PILOT

Type Ratings

P/B-707 P/B-720 P/CE-500 P/G-1159 P/HS-125


CE-500 (VFR ONLY).

…and what FAA certifications and/or ratings do YOU hold?

If I owned a 707 or other aircraft needing more than one person to fly it, you can be assured that I would not go around implying that I am the sole pilot. If I was authorized to fly only as SIC (second-in-command) of said aircraft, I would not go around implying that I was the sole pilot. Furthermore, whether I have a certification from the FAA is really irrelevant to this conversation.

I wasn’t aware that he had claimed to be PIC on the 707. He wasn’t flying anything that night-had the full crew with him.

I’m talking about interviews I’ve seen on TV and read in periodicals.

I searched and the FAA records turned up no David Ross’s in Castro Valley CA.

As I have said several times in different postings, I am not a pilot. Have never claimed to be and never will claim to be unless I actually get a license. That said, I am still entitled to an opinion about a “celebrity.”

Well David, I don’t think it’s right to talk down someone’s many accomplishments in an area where you yourself admittedly have none.

Can you link us to any interviews where JT talks about flying the 707 and implies he’s the sole pilot or PIC?

Glad to hear of your positive experience meeting John Travolta. (the purpose of the post ,right?)

Can’t give you the audio interviews because those were on TV.

Here’s something from his webpage:

“Every cent of my first paychecks went to flying lessons,” recalls Travolta, who has trained in cockpits as diverse as his acting roles. They include **qualifying as a captain in the Gulfstream II, Lear 24, hawker 1A, Citation 1 and 2, Tebuan and Vampire Jet. He has qualified as first officer in the Boeing 707. Travolta keeps his skill up-to-date through continual refresher courses, training at American Airlines, Pan Am, SimuFlite an other institutions.

While John Travolta doesn’t appear to be limiting his film career in any way, he has often said he would like to become involved with a major airline in some way. That goal was realized in 2002, when he participated in the Qantas “Spirit of Friendship” tour,
piloting his own Boeing 707 on a thirteen city, 35,000 mile tour. **He continues as Ambassador-at-Large for the Australia based Qantas Airways.

What’s not mentioned is that he is only qualified for VFR in the Citation. While he’s qualified as second-in-command for the 707, the bio says “first officer.” I guess that’s better than saying “second.”
In the second paragraph above, it says “…piloting his own Boeing 707…” No mention of he person who actually was in command (i.e. the pilot) and the flight engineer.

He’s also hypocritical. From The Daily Mail

“It [global warming] is a very valid issue,” Travolta declared. "I’m wondering if we need to think about other planets and dome cities.

"Everyone can do their bit. But I don’t know if it’s not too late already. We have to think about alternative methods of fuel.

"I’m probably not the best candidate to ask about global warming because I fly jets.

“I use them as a business tool though, as others do. I think it’s part of this industry ? otherwise I couldn’t be here doing this and I wouldn’t be here now.”

In other words, he’s implying that we need to do all we can to stop global warming yet he can justify flying a very fuel-inefficient aircraft because he uses it has a business tool.

From the same article:

More recently, a gruelling promotional schedule for his two latest projects, Hairspray and Wild Hogs, has seen him fly extensively over the past year.

This includes a country-wide tour of the US and a visit to Canada as well as this week’s appearance in Leicester Square.

Such prolific mileage means that, over the past 12 months, he has accumulated around 800 tonnes of carbon emissions.

According to a recent study by the government-funded Carbon Trust, this means he boasts a carbon “footprint” nearly 100 times that of the average Briton, who is responsible for 10.92 tons of Co2, from his flights alone.

One of the world’s leading climate change businesses, the Carbon Neutral Company, has written to Travolta, suggesting ways he could reduce these alarming levels.

He has yet to respond to their advice. Environmental groups were quick to criticise Travolta for “discrediting the cause”.

I have had the pleasure as well to meet Travolta, and Kelly when they came down to PIE for a “Church” function. His crew are nice people.

The “Church” on the other hand…well that is a thread we don’t need to get into on this site. :wink:


Okay, help me out here… So, operating a complex jet like the 707 as second in command isn’t really piloting at all? Second in command means you just sit in the right seat and lend moral support to the captain who does all the flying? And being pilot in command of a plane flying VFR isn’t really being pilot in command at all???

Hmmmmm… sounds like a lot of us here are gonna have to pull out our log books and make a lot of corrections! :confused:

He could burn an 800-ton mountain of coal in his back yard. It ain’t gonna change his piloting qualifications a bit.

Okay, help me out here… So, operating a complex jet like the 707 as second in command isn’t really piloting at all? [/quote]

Didn’t say that. A type rating of second-in-command to me - correct me if I’m wrong (and I know I’ll be corrected if I’m wrong) - is not responsible for the operation of the aircraft. The person who is ultimately responsible is the first-in-command, i.e. the captain.

He could burn an 800-ton mountain of coal in his back yard. It ain’t gonna change his piloting qualifications a bit.

Sorry about that - changed the subject here without notice.

In any case, I don’t believe I’ve questioned his piloting skills. I’m questioning his ethics. He goes around saying global warming isn’t good. He probably also considers global warming to be man made. But then, after telling us common peons that we should do something about it, he goes around in aircraft that allegedly are contributing to global warming.

In any case, I will admit that his 707 is great looking. The 707, in my opinion, is one of the greatest looking airliners around.

Pre- N707JT, quiz here do you gents know how he was able to secure the tail number which this aircraft currently flies under?

airliners.net/photo/Boeing-7 … 1253666/M/

This aircraft before he owned it used to frequent the IAD ramp when the SV prince would need an additional aircraft for family…

“There is no photo in our database with that ID number.”

I’m able to bring it up with no problem.

I believe the issue at hand was your accusations that he misrepresents his qualifications as a pilot, and so far you haven’t shown us any evidence of it. Your example from his Web site appears to accurately reflect his accomplishments.

Seein’ how there’s no previous aircraft registered under that number (listed in the FAA’s database), I reckon he looked up the number’s availability, reserved it and filed all the required paperwork to apply the number to the plane. But I’m just guessin’ here.

Works for me.

Works for me now as well NN, thanks.