Published on : Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Hollywood super star Harrison Ford, who made his name as the swashbuckling pilot of the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars, was involved in a potentially serious run-in with a passenger jet as he landed his small plane at a California airport.
The Federal Aviation Administration has launched an investigation after Ford’s Aviat Husky flew over the airliner which was on the ground with passengers on board.
Air traffic control recordings captured the Hollywood star asking “Was that airliner meant to be underneath me?”
The 74-year-old Indiana Jones actor was then informed that he had not come down on the runway he had been instructed to land on but on a taxiway at John Wayne Airport in Orange County.
Air traffic controllers had cleared Ford for a landing on Runway 20L.
It was not clear how close Ford flew to the passenger jet.
The investigation could led to penalties for the pilot ranging from a warning to a suspension of his licence.
The plane Ford flew over was an American Airlines flight bound for Dallas with 110 passengers and six crew on board.
American Airlines Flight 1456 departed safely for Dallas a few minutes later.
Ford collects vintage planes and has a long and good record as an aviator. But he has had several incidents over the past two decades.
In March 2015 he was seriously injured when his Second World War-era trainer crashed on a Los Angeles golf course when it lost power shortly after takeoff.
Ford was seriously injured in the crash, breaking his arm and suffering memory loss. He was praised for avoiding densely populated areas nearby.
In 1999 he crash-landed his helicopter during a training flight in which he and an instructor were practicing auto rotations in Ventura County, northwest of Los Angeles. Ford and the instructor were unhurt.
He was flying a Beechcraft Bonanza in 2000 when wind shear forced him to make an emergency landing at Lincoln Municipal Airport in Nebraska.
Ford and his passenger were uninjured when the plane clipped the runway, but its wing tips were damaged, officials said.
The actor has also flown successful search and rescue missions including helping to find a missing hiker and Boy Scout in Wyoming in 2001.
He was flying alone in his single engine Husky during the latest incident on Monday. An award was named in his honour by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.