Lifestyle & Human Interest

Harrison Ford Investigated After Incident Involving Plane He Was Piloting: 'I'm Terribly Sorry'


“Traveling through hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops, farm boy. Without precise calculations we could fly right through a star or bounce too close to a supernova, and that’d end your trip real quick, wouldn’t it?” — “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope”

Han Solo may just be a character that Harrison Ford played, but they’re both accomplished pilots. In the past few years, though, Ford has had a few close calls.

In 2015, Ford made headlines for crashing onto a golf course in Los Angeles. It was later determined that the accident was not due to user error, and that it was due to the plane malfunctioning.

Though Ford sustained some cuts and scrapes, the crash was actually “an absolutely beautifully executed emergency landing by an unbelievably well-trained pilot,” the Santa Monica Airport Association’s Christian Fry said, according to the BBC.

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“He literally had five seconds, and 99 percent of pilots would have turned around to go back to the runway and would have crashed,” film producer Ryan Kavanaugh said. “Harrison did what the best pilots in the world would do. He made the correct turn that the plane was designed for with an engine out.”

In February 2017, Ford got close to a commercial flight, passing over an American Airlines plane that had over 100 people on board, according to the BBC.

The close call took place because he landed on a taxiway rather than the intended runway, and he must have immediately realized his mistake as, according to CBS News, he asked “was that airliner meant to be underneath me?”

He admitted fault, referring to himself as a “schmuck,” but he experienced no lasting repercussions.

“The FAA conducted a full investigation into the matter … and determined that no administrative or enforcement action was warranted,” Stephen Hofer, his lawyer, said.

“The agency acknowledged Mr Ford’s long history of compliance with the Federal Aviation Regulations, and his cooperative attitude during the investigation.”

This year, while piloting an Aviat Husky at the Hawthorne Municipal Airport on April 24, Ford experienced another gaffe.

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As he approached the runway, a tower operator asked him to “hold short on the runway,” as there was another plane landing.

He allegedly misheard the request and crossed the runway in question, eliciting some panic. However, his representative said that the situation was not a close call as the other plane wasn’t nearby.

“Excuse me sir, I thought exactly the opposite,” Ford said immediately after, according to a recording as referenced by CBS News. “I’m terribly sorry.”

“Actor and pilot Harrison Ford was involved in a runway incursion April 24th at the Hawthorne Airport,” the representative said, according to KCAL-TV. “Mr. Ford crossed the airport’s only runway in his aircraft after he misheard a radio instruction from ATC.”

“He immediately acknowledged the mistake and apologized to ATC for the error. The purpose of the flight was to maintain currency and proficiency in the aircraft. No one was injured and there was never any danger of a collision.”

The FAA was investigating the incident but also said there was no danger of a crash.

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