John David Duggar and his wife Abbie Duggar are opening up about the terrifying plane crash they were involved in along with their daughter, Grace, just a few weeks before his older brother Josh Duggar‘s child pornography trial and conviction in 2021.
“An emergency landing or any kind of plane crash is a scary thing, but it’s exactly what pilots are trained for,” John David, 32, and Abbie, 29, told Celebuzz. “We are so thankful for God’s protection, as we all walked away without injuries when this happened last October. We so appreciate the love and care so many have expressed toward us!”
After running out of fuel, he crashed his Piper PA-30 into a Waverly, Tennessee, field on October 29, 2021.
The Humphrey County Sheriff’s Office previously confirmed the crash to In Touch but could only verify that a family from Arkansas was involved. John David and Abbie live in Springdale, Arkansas.
In an accident report obtained by In Touch, it noted that the flight was for personal use and that the plane suffered “substantial” damage. The report also noted there were two other people (later confirmed to be wife Abbie and their daughter, Grace) aboard the six-seat plane. The National Transportation Safety Board is currently investigating the crash.
John David helps run a non-profit aviation company called MEDIC Corps, which involves small planes and helicopters delivering relief supplies to areas hit by natural disasters. The plane he was flying at the time of the crash was registered to his company, which is based in Springdale, Arkansas.
Both John David and Abbie are aviation lovers. The pair celebrated her birthday weekend in April 2021 at an airshow in Lakeland, Florida. They shared photos of Grace sitting in the cockpit of an Air Force plane, as well as his twin sister, Jana Duggar, who joined them for the family trip. “We had a blast at SUN ‘n FUN in Florida this weekend! What a great birthday!” the couple wrote next to their Instagram photos.
John David and Abbie took their wedding photos next to planes and even announced their pregnancy with Grace in August 2019 while flying, holding up a white onesie that had “Baby Passenger on Board” written on the front while in the cockpit of a plane.
Being one of the older Duggar brothers, John David stepped up in 2015 when it was revealed that Josh had molested several of his younger sisters when they were growing up. Josh also admitted to infidelity and a pornography addiction that caused him live in in a faith-based rehab center for six months.
At the time, John David said in a TLC clip, “For me, making sure that I’m the man that I need to be, that I’m an example to those all around me … it’s a big load, it’s a big weight upon me now,” adding, “Hey, I’ve got a whole bunch of younger siblings looking up to me and I’ve got to be an example to them, because whatever I am, that’s what they want to be.”
John David then noted how he’d always looked up to Josh until the scandal, explaining, “One of the toughest things I ever had to tell my older brother was, ‘I don’t want to be like you anymore.’” In December 2021, Josh was tried and found guilty of one count of receiving child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography. He’s currently awaiting sentencing.
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