Harrison Ford Involved in Incident with Passenger Plane, FAA Opening Investigation
By Ale Russian, People
Harrison Ford was involved in an incident with a passenger plane on Monday as he was landing his private aircraft, according to NBC News.
The actor reportedly flew dangerously close to a taxiing passenger plane after mistakenly landing in a taxiway instead of the runway he was cleared for.
Ford, 74, was piloting his single-engine plane when tower control gave him the go-ahead to land at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California. But when the actor instead maneuvered toward a taxiway, his plane flew over an American Airlines departing flight with 110 passengers on board and a six-person crew. The Dallas-bound 737 aircraft was reportedly able to safely take off minutes after the incident.
The actor was reportedly captured on air traffic control recordings asking, “Was that airliner meant to be underneath me?” Air traffic control then informed the actor that he inadvertently landed on a taxiway with awaiting aircraft instead of the runway he was instructed to head toward.
The Federal Aviation Administration told NBC News that controllers gave Ford the proper landing instructions and that he read them back. According to NBC anchor Tom Costello, the FAA is opening an investigation into the incident. The news anchor also tweeted that American Airlines is asking both the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board to open an investigation into the incident.
If Ford is found at fault, his pilot license — which he uses to operate his vintage plane collection — could be suspended, though he may also just receive a warning letter.
A rep for the actor had no comment.
The actor has been involved in several piloting accidents in the past. The most serious was in 2015, when he crash-landed at a Santa Monica golf course after encountering engine trouble. Ford, who was flying a yellow vintage fighter plane, suffered a broken arm and lacerations to his scalp.
“He had no other choice but to make an emergency landing, which he did safely,” a rep for Ford said in a statement at the time, adding that the actor’s injuries were “not life-threatening”
An eyewitness on the scene of the 2015 crash told PEOPLE: “During takeoff, the engine blew. You could hear it go silent, and then he banked to the left, clipped the tree and fell on the number 8 tee.”
Ford had another scare in the summer of 2000 when his six-passenger plane took a hard landing in Lincoln, Nebraska, but the actor was not hurt. Ford also crash-landed a helicopter in October 1999 while he was practicing emergency landings with a flight instructor.