‘American Idol’ Alum Taylor Hicks’ Private Plane Almost Crashed

'American Idol' Finalist Rickey Smith Killed in Car Crash
Former American Idol finalist Rickey Smith was killed Thursday night in a multi-car highway wreck in Oklahoma

Taylor Hicks, who won the fifth season of American Idol in 2006, is happy to be alive after the private plane he was co-piloting nearly crashed on Wednesday (Oct. 26, 2016).

Hicks described the scary experience, telling TMZ, “I’m asleep in the copilot chair and I wake up to this muttering sound and I knew that the pilot was going to descend,” he recounted to the site of his flight from Tennessee to Alabama. “And as soon as we descended to about 7,000 feet, two of the pistons blew, oil went everywhere and the engine stopped and the rotor blade stopped in midair.”

He added, “And I looked over and I just thought to myself, What can you do? You’re absolutely helpless in this situation because, you know, we lost a complete engine. Luckily, I was on a twin-engine private aircraft. And I just felt like my life and all of our lives kind of flashed before our eyes a little bit.”

Thankfully, Hicks’ talented pilot was able to navigate the tiny propeller jet. “We were just very thankful and very blessed that we had a wonderful, graceful, amazing pilot that was able to handle this situation, and it was literally unbelievable how he sat that plane down from going from two engines to one engine.”

Hicks, who released his last studio album, The Distance, in 2009, concluded: “It was literally something out of a movie.”