Harrison Ford Crash: Not His Fault

Harrison Ford’s plane crash earlier this year was caused by a loose part and wasn’t the movie star’s fault, says the National Transportation Safety Board in a report released early Thursday. Ford took off in his private small plane from Santa Monica Airport on March 5 and lost power, prompting him to attempt a return to the airport. Before he could land, the plane crashed in a golf course.

During the investigation into the crash, Ford told investigators that he couldn’t remember the crash itself. He could only describe what happened up to the moment of the crash. Ford was seriously injured when the plane crashed, although there were no injuries to those on the ground at the PenMar Golf Course. The investigation “found that an improperly installed shoulder harness likely contributed to the severity of Ford’s injuries.”

Ford, the star and action hero of movies like Star Wars and Indiana Jones, handled the emergency well, advising air traffic controllers of the engine failure and requesting an “immediate return” to the runway. Ford wasn’t able to make it all the way to the airport runway, and instead had to risk a crash when he landed in a clearing on the golf course about 800 feet from the runway.

The National Transportation Safety Board report outlined Harrison’s comments.

“The pilot reported… the engine experienced a loss of power. He stated that he did not attempt an engine restart but maintained an airspeed of 85 mph and initiated a left turn back toward the airport; however, during the approach, he realized that the airplane was unable to reach the runway. Subsequently, the airplane struck the top of a tree that was about 65 ft tall, and then impacted the ground in an open area of a golf course.”

The small yellow and silver plane, which was originally built in 1942 as one of the type of aircraft that “served as a primary trainer for the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II” and was rebuilt 17 years before the crash occurred. The rebuild may have caused the main metering jet to loosen, and this in turn triggered the plane crash.

Harrison Ford is still flying and is ready to return to movies to reprise his role as Han Solo in the upcoming Star Wars sequel, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

[Image via Rich Polk / Stringer/ Getty]