Harrison Ford Lands Private Plane On Wrong Runway, Narrowly Misses Passenger Jet
Actor and aviator Harrison Ford flew his private plane directly over a passenger jet just before landing on Monday.
HARRISON FORD LANDS PRIVATE PLANE ON WRONG RUNWAY
Ford, 74, was told to land on a specific runway at Orange County’s John Wayne Airport, but he accidentally landed on a parallel taxiway, flying over a Boeing 737. “Was that airliner meant to be underneath me?” Ford can be heard asking in the air traffic controller’s recording.
Reports indicate that the pilot, unknown at the time to be Ford, read back the correct landing instructions, so it is unclear where he went wrong. Also unclear is just how close Ford’s plane was to hitting the grounded airliner.
There were no injuries and the jet, carrying 110 passengers and six crewmembers, took off shortly after without incident.
The Federal Aviation Administration is now investigating the occurrence, which “could result in a simple warning letter to a suspension of Ford’s pilot’s license.” The actor has been flying for decades and collects vintage planes. Ford is “a highly-skilled and highly-rated pilot. He’s qualified to fly single and twin engine planes, sea planes, helicopters and he’s also an instrument-rated pilot,” said NPR’s Russell Lewis.
In 2008, Ford received the Legends Aviation Legacy Award from the Kiddie Hawk Air Academy, and the award was shortly thereafter renamed in honor of the actor. Ford has been in three flying-related incidents in the past. The first, in 1999, saw him crash-land a helicopter during a training flight, and luckily neither he nor his instructor were hurt. In the next, in 2000, a gust of wind blew a Beechcraft Bonanza piloted by Ford off the runway, and neither he nor his passenger were injured.
The third did result in a serious injury. In 2015, Ford crash-landed a restored WWII-era plane on a golf course near the Santa Monica Airport. It appears the crash resulted from a loose engine part.