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/ Source: TODAY
By Ree Hines

It was meant to be a celebration with her besties, but Jennifer Aniston's 50th birthday getaway got off to a rough start before the private plane they were all on even left the runway.

The actress recalled the incident during a visit to Jimmy Kimmel Thursday night, and as it turned out, he already knew all about it.

"It was one of those things that on the take-off ... we heard an explosion, which sounded like a pothole if it was a car big enough to go over the Grand Canyon," she said of what, in retrospect, should have put her and her companions on high alert. "It was that loud."

But even Aniston, who has a fear of flying, wasn't worried at that point. There was a Mexican vacation awaiting them all and things seemed to go smoothly from there. Until ...

"Two hours in, the flight attendant comes over to me and says, 'The pilots would like to talk to you,'" she recalled.

But given her aforementioned phobia, she decided it would be better to send pal Andrea Bendewald to talk to the pilots instead.

"And then 10 minutes later, she comes out and says, 'Well, we've turned around. We're actually going back to California. They found some debris from a wheel on the runway. They think it's from our plane, so ...'"

With an emergency landing looming, Aniston's longtime BFF and former "Friends" co-star Courteney Cox grabbed a phone to tell her 14-year-old daughter, Coco, that she loved her.

Another woman who was frantically texting in that same moment was Molly McNearney — Kimmel's wife — and quick-thinking Aniston got a screengrab to show how well he stepped up during that frightening moment.

"This is the loving response Molly got when she said, 'Jimmy, I love you and I love (our daughter) Jane, and you've always been an incredible husband.'"

Jimmy Kimmel didn't let a moment of plane panic get in the way of a good joke.Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube

"I just signed up for tinder but I PROMISE not to activate it until we know what's what," he texted back — complete with a shirtless profile pic.

At least the ladies had a good laugh before their plane went on to land — safely — sans one wheel.