Actor Harrison Ford was involved in a nearly catastrophic collision with an airliner in California on Monday. The Hollywood star was piloting his private plane, a single-engine Husky, when he mistakenly missed the runway at the John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, and landed instead on the taxiway, passing dangerously low over an American Airlines Boeing 737 preparing for takeoff.
Ford, 74, took off in his private Husky Aviat A-1C from Santa Monica airport on Monday and piloted the plane to John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California. The airport’s tower control cleared him to land the single-engine plane on runway 20-L, but he missed the runway and landed on a taxiway instead, NBC News reported.
The actor, who was in a serious plane crash in 2015, had been instructed to land on runway 20-L at John Wayne … https://t.co/KXpgLz3Nyn
— Kris barber (@KrisBrbr93) February 15, 2017
In the process, he barely averted an aviation disaster when he buzzed Dallas-bound American Airlines Flight 1546 approaching takeoff. The American Airlines Boeing 737 was carrying 110 passengers, with a crew of six.
The Boeing 737 took off safely minutes after the incident, according to the New York Daily News.
Air traffic control then told him that he had just committed a violation of air traffic safety rules by landing on the taxiway instead of the runway as instructed.
According to the New York Daily News, a spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed on Monday afternoon that the agency was investigating an incident involving a single-engine Aviat Husky that landed on a taxiway that “runs parallel to the runway” at the John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California.
Harrison Ford in near-miss: 'Was that airliner meant to be underneath me?' https://t.co/b2taSbxjnH
— The Guardian (@guardian) February 15, 2017
But due to policy, the FAA spokesperson declined to confirm that it was the Han Solo actor who was involved in the incident. FAA reportedly insisted that the air-traffic controllers gave Ford clear instructions to land on the runway and he read back the instructions correctly, yet he landed on the wrong strip.
If Ford is found to be at fault he could lose his pilot’s license. Otherwise, he could receive a warning letter.
This is not the first time that Ford, a vintage plane collector and experienced pilot, has been involved in an air incident. He could be considered an accident-prone pilot after having been involved in multiple potentially fatal air accidents.
— WWN (@WhispersNewsLTD) February 15, 2017
In 2015, he crashed-landed a vintage World War II-era plane from 3,000 feet after the engine failed. He managed to avoid residential neighborhoods by making an emergency landing on a Santa Monica golf course, hitting a tree on the way down, as reported by the Daily Mail.
— 360info Gate way (@360infogateway) February 15, 2017
He suffered a head injury and a broken arm in the accident. He was rushed to the hospital bleeding profusely from a lacerated scalp.
Earlier in 2000, he crash-landed a six-seat Beechcraft Bonanza on a runway during an emergency landing at the Lincoln Municipal Airport in Nebraska, but escaped unhurt. He crash-landed a helicopter in 1999 during a training session over the Lake Piru riverbed, northeast of Los Angeles.
He also sustained an ankle injury on the set of Star Wars: Episode VII, when the door of the Millennium Falcon spacecraft dropped and fell on him.
The Indiana Jones actor reportedly started taking flying lessons at 52 and over the years developed a passion for flying. He has acquired an impressive collection of vintage crafts he keeps at the Santa Monica Airport.
“I’m so passionate about flying, I often fly up the coast for a cheeseburger.”
— 96.3 BIG FM (@963bigfm) February 15, 2017
Although at 74, he is too old under FAA rules to fly a commercial aircraft, there is no age limit for private pilots. Older pilots are only required to pass a medical examination every two years.
The Hollywood star, married to actress Calista Flockhart, is an experienced pilot who collects vintage planes, cars, and motorbikes.
[Featured Image by Staff/Getty Images]