UPDATED, 2:55 PM: Harrison Ford’s attorney said today that the actor and veteran pilot will not face FAA disciplinary action for landing his small plane on a John Wayne Airport taxiway rather than a runway in February. “Mr. Ford retains his pilot’s certificate without restriction,” lawyer Stephen Hofer said in a statement. “In closing the matter, the agency acknowledged Mr.Ford’s long history of compliance with the federal aviation regulations and his cooperative attitude during the investigation.”
PREVIOUSLY, February 14: Veteran pilot Harrison Ford appears to have had another close call in the skies over Southern California. Less than two years after the small plane he was piloting crash-landed on a Los Angeles golf course, NBC News reports that he was involved in an incident at Orange County’s John Wayne Airport on Monday.
NBC said the actor was at the controls of a single-engine Husky when he was instructed to land on a particular runway. Ford mistakenly headed for a taxiway instead, and his plane passed above a commercial 737 with 110 passengers and a six-person crew aboard. No one was hurt and American Airlines Flight 1546 was able to leave for Dallas minutes later.
NBC News says Ford was heard on an air-traffic control recording asking, “Was that airliner meant to be underneath me?” Controllers then told him that he had landed on a taxiway, which is a violation of FAA regulations. NBC said the incident has prompted an FAA investigation, which could result in anything from a simple warning letter to a suspension of Ford’s pilot’s license.
In March 2015, the Star Wars veteran suffered broken bones when his World War II-era PT-22 trainer plane made an emergency crash-landing at the public Penmar Golf Course shortly after takeoff from nearby Santa Monica Airport. Ford, who has been flying planes for nearly 50 years and collects vintage planes, was the only person aboard and was outside the plane when first responders arrived.
“He had no other choice but to make an emergency landing, which he did safely,” his agency UTA said at the time. “He was banged up [but] is expected to make a full recovery.”
Ford also was involved in a helicopter crash in 1999. He and an instructor were on a training flight when the chopper landed hard and rolled over near Santa Clarita, about 30 miles from the 2015 crash site.