Gene Odom, a close friend of Ronnie Van Zant, recently spoke with Skiba Nation and revealed what happened on the frontman of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s last aircraft flight. Van Zant and two other members of Lynyrd Skynyrd were killed in an aircraft crash in 1977. Odom, the band’s then-security manager, was fortunate to survive to tell the tale. So, after a visit to the cockpit, he first remembered how he recognized the jet wouldn’t’make it’: “For the third time, I went up there [the cockpit] to dispute with him [the pilot] and curse them out. When I saw the plane do this [motions falling down], I realized we weren’t going to make it to the field. “I told him [Billy Powell and the pilot], ‘I hope you two guys live through this because I’m going to beat you both to death.'” Odom then went on to explain why Van Zant had no notion the plane was going down: “So I picked Ronnie up from the floor.
” [I] began trying with him to persuade him to sit down. He had no idea the jet was crashing, nor did he grasp… He was grub deaf in those two sleeping tablets since he was so grub deaf. He died unaware that the jet was about to crash.” When the host said that Ronnie must have gone peacefully because he was ‘unconscious’ during the crash, Gene shared a tragic fact about the singer: “You could say that, but you should know how much he despised flying.” That kid despised the fly. He was terrified of flying. He despised it. He did it when he had to, but he detested flying.” Although Odom survived the disaster, six others, including members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Steve and Cassie Gaines, and some of the plane crew, did not. Van Zant, in particular, left behind a widow and two young girls, and you can read more about his daughter, Tammy Van Zant’s, heartbreaking life story here.