(Reuters) - Travis Barker will skip the Australian tour of pop-punk band Blink-182, citing a long-term fear of flying that worsened after he survived a fatal crash nearly five years ago that killed two friends.
"I'm sorry to announce I won't be joining Blink-182 on this Australian tour," Barker, 37 and drummer for the group, wrote on Facebook. "I still haven't gotten over the horrific events that took place the last time I flew when my plane crashed and four people were killed, two being my best friends."
Barker was one of two survivors of the 2008 crash when a private plane he was on burst into flames during an aborted takeoff. He spent several months in hospital with injuries.
Barker said he had hoped to get to Australia by ship if need be for the tour, which starts on Wednesday in Sydney, but that schedules hadn't worked out.
"Once again, I'm sorry to all the fans," he said.
The band, also writing on Facebook, said Barker would be replaced on the tour by Brooks Wackerman from Bad Religion and Tenacious D.
"The band knew the chances of Travis overcoming his fear of flying, which was magnified after the horrible plane crash of 2008, would be a challenge, but we wanted to play for our fans in Australia nonetheless," they said, adding that cancelling the tour had not been an option.
Reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by Paul Tait