The Loop

Joe Perry: Aerosmith almost flew the plane that crashed with Lynyrd Skynyrd

In an interview with, Joe Perry recalls that one week before Lynyrd Skynyrd went down in a small plane on October 20, 1977, Aerosmith was scheduled to board the same Convair CV-300. Luckily, the band passed on leasing the plane after one of Aerosmith's crew inspected it and deemed it unsafe.  Talk about a near miss.

“People were flying on all these different planes, and it was very common to be on a plane Fleetwood Mac had been on the week before,” said Perry.  “We’ve always felt there was somebody watching over us, and this was another example of that…Fortunately we had someone looking at the plane that we would be taking, and put his foot down. To be that close to it… it was really a blow, up and down the line. From knowing those guys, to the loss of music and beyond.”

Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray were killed on impact when, after running out of fuel, the pilot attemped a failed emergency landing. The other band members (Collins, Rossington, Wilkeson, Powell, Pyle, and Hawkins) and road crew suffered serious injuries.