Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash Survivor Details Ronnie Van Zant’s Final Moments

Gene Odom, a close friend of Ronnie Van Zant, recently talked to Skiba Nation and revealed what occurred in the Lynyrd Skynyrd frontman’s last plane ride.

Van Zant and two other members of Lynyrd Skynyrd lost their lives in the unfortunate plane crash of 1977. Odom, the band’s then-security manager, was lucky to survive the incident and tell the story.

So, he first recalled how he realized the plane wouldn’t ‘make it’ during a visit to the cockpit:

“I went up there [the cockpit] for the third time to argue with him [the pilot] and cuss them out. That’s when I see the plane do this [motions going down], and I knew we wouldn’t make the field. I said to him [Billy Powell and the pilot], ‘I hope you two guys live through this because I’m gonna beat you both to death.'”

Odom then continued, revealing why Van Zant had no idea that the plane was going down:

“So, I grabbed Ronnie up off the floor. [I] started struggling with him, getting him sitting down. At no time, did he ever know that plane was crashing, did he comprehend… because he was so grub deaf in them two sleeping pills. He died without knowing that the plane was actually crashing.”

When the host commented how Ronnie must’ve died in peace since he was ‘unconscious’ during the crash, Gene revealed an unfortunate truth about the singer:

“You could say that, but if you knew how bad he hated to fly. That boy hated the fly. He was scared to death of flying. He hated it. He did it when he had to do it, but he hated flying.”

Although Odom survived the crash, six others, including the Lynyrd Skynyrd members, Steve and Cassie Gaines, and some of the plane crew weren’t as lucky. Van Zant, especially, left behind a widow and two young daughters, and you can check out here to read all about his daughter, Tammy Van Zant’s tragic life story.