Back to Squawk list
  • 30

Actor Harrison Ford injured in plane crash

Actor Harrison Ford was injured Thursday when a vintage World War II training plane he was piloting crash landed on a Mar Vista, California, golf course. The actor, who was conscious and breathing when rescue crews reached him, was stabilized and taken to a hospital, where he was in fair to moderate condition, authorities said. Sources said he sustained cuts to his head. ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

WeatherWise 14
Of course, despite this being a forced landing with a decent outcome, this will be more fuel for the anti-airport groups in Santa Monica.
Ric Wernicke 12
The people that complain the loudest are property owners that don't live there. They rent digbat houses at four times market rate to people who must live on the "West Side." The owners should take a long walk on a short pier. No one forced them to buy property near an active airport. If anything should be done, it be to bulldoze some of that substandard housing to increase runway length. Perhaps that would relieve some of the traffic congestion on that part of town. Win-win.
james sloat 1
You are right. Read my previous remark above.
Andrew Stagg 4
At the same time, no accident or incident at SMO has injured anyone on the ground.
Bernie20910 4
Unfortunately, you know as well as I do that the antis will simply add "yet" to that truth.
Jack370 1
Harrison Ford has been one of the high profile petitioners who have rallied to keep KSMO open. The airport was there first and the real question is why do cities allow expansion so close to these airports. There are similar congested airports all over the country and the world.
joel wiley 2
To understand the expansion, follow the money.
Jack370 1
That's true but the logic of shutting down an airport is because it's too close to a population is not a valid argument as they would have to shut down most of the major airports in the US including SFO, SJO, DFW, JFK and most of the other major airports.
Californians often bully their cities into unreasonable conditions and asking KSMO to close is one of those typical local Californian bully activities.
preacher1 1
I guess it's making me feel old but I remember a big gripe about DFW was that it was so far out of town and away from things. Same with IAD but so far, they are big enough that you won't have that close in complaint.
Ken Lane 1
After picking up at a distributor in Grapevine I decided to take the scenic route down the access road alongside the tollway at DFW. The runways are 13,400 feet. It sure seemed like a lot further than 2.5 miles. I looked and it's 4.7 miles from one junction before entering at the north to the next junction at the south end.

Once, I almost had to fly an attorney into that place in a 182. Why they wanted that airport, no clue. But I was happy to do it at my rate since he covered all fees. If I was lucky, I'd get 17R, land right on the numbers in VMC and be right there. Not so lucky, I'd get 17L and taxi for an hour.

I saw people get royally confused in Austin. Watching them at Hobby was fun and a good lesson. DFW would be abusive.
preacher1 1
Well, they had enough foresight for a pretty good buffer zone around the airport, as evidenced by your distance recorded there, but as time progresses it will be eaten up from expansion.
joel wiley 1
Do you have any idea of how many houses developers could sell on the footprint of KSMO? IMHO, that is one of the main drivers for closing it.
Ken Lane 1
That and the city which wants the tax revenue they'd get out of it.
Jack370 1
Exactly, but it also makes their argument weak to ban the airport to increase the value of their property. When these landlords bought the area around the airport they did it with the understanding that they were boarding a civil aviation airport which set the market value on that property at the time.
Now they want to come in and increase the value of their properties by kicking out the airport. It's selfishly motivated and unethical if not illegal it should be.
Jack370 1
I meant SJC, not SJO although nobody would close that airport either do to urban congestion.
GraemeSmith 7
LiveATC - It's in clip - KSMO-Twr-Mar-05-2015-2200Z.mp3

"53178 - Engine Failure - Immediate return"

TWR - "Ryan 178 Runway 21 cleared to land"

"Have to go for 3"

TWR - "Ryan 178 Runway 3 cleared to land"

6SP - "6SP canceling clearance - what would you like us to do?"

TWR - "6SP - Just make right 360's for now"

6SP - "Right 360's 6SP"

TWR - "Wind 260 at 10"

TWR - "Unit 2, Unit 3 Santa Monica Tower"

Unit3 - "Unit 3 we are standing by (garbled)."

TWR - "Roger"

TWR - "(Police Car?), Santa Monica Tower - standby."

Unit 3 - "Tower - did you see the last location?"

TWR - "Unit 3 - didn't - looked like it was short of the runway out by the VOR"

Unit 3 - "Roger"

TWR - "Cessna 6SP - cleared to land"

6SP - "Cleared to land"

Time from Ford's first call to tower deciding he was down by the VOR - 1 min 15 secs
Dee Lowry 7
Harrison Ford is a true professional in his piloting skills. Text book decision making and text book landing. Excellent job!
Ford is a "Pilot" on the same ladder as Capt Sulley, only a slightly lower rung!
Torsten Hoff 6
The aircraft was N53178:

Best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery to Mr. Ford.
STLPilot2 6
It is interesting to read the articles and note the inaccuracies. In the same article it was stated that he was in the air for 20 minutes before requesting an immediate landing clearance on the downwind runway and that the airplane "stalled" on takeoff. In addition one article stated that the golf course was in Venice and that he was at a hospital in Venice. In fact the golf course is in Santa Monica and he was taken to UCLA Medical Center which is in Westwood. It just appears that the press no longer feels the need to monitor the accuracy of their statements.
StarFlyr 3
"It just appears that the press no longer feels the need to monitor the accuracy of their statements."

And that's new??? Has any ground pounder ever reported an airplane mishap correctly?
f14rio 1
I have never read an article from the media about an aircraft (accident or not) that was accurate. If they can't get something right that I know about more than anything... what do they get right about everything else.

My point is ...we have no choice but to read/watch the news...but realize what you are reading or seeing is only partly true. And that... is scary!
preacher1 1
Sad part of that is, part of it is sensationalism to gain ratings and the other is just pure ignorance. I question everything.
joel wiley 2
It's mostly about grabbing your attention so you can see their advertisers. Unfortunately, there is enough of an audience to make it pay off. I'm mildly surprised they didn't mention the Millennium Falcon.
Penmar golf course is, in fact, in Venice.
Jack370 1
I posted the raw ATC audio from the KSMO control tower on YouTube. There is about 92 seconds from the time Harrison Ford is given clearance for takeoff in his Ryan P22 until the time he calls in the engine failure emergency. His flying was remarkable.
preacher1 1
Not sure about the location but I think Venice is correct. It really matters not when you look at the picture of the humanity that has grown up at the fence line. Seems to me, all that was open country back in the day. That said, as at other places, the humanity will win as the Airport lobby will not be strong enough to overcome it. It may take awhile but it will happen. In regards to Mr. Ford and maybe others on the ground, it's a good thing the golf course was there as there doesn't appear to be that much open space around there.
Andrew Stagg 5
Harrison Ford has done a lot for GA. Thoughts and prayers for him and his family for a quick recovery.
Looks like a LOTOT, but appears he did a good job flying the airplane into the crash.
Ken Lane 4
I heard the news conference by the NTSB investigator last night. I can only imagine how much he wanted to slap some of the reporters who didn't bother listening to previous questions and answers as well as learn how to read a damn map. They don't even know the little area they're to realize how close the airport is??? Morons... journalistic morons!

This on Facebook cracked me up:
David Burke 3
Hats off to Mr Ford's off airport landing and his ability to combine two hobbies, golf and flying all in the same afternoon!
Kevin Brown 3
His son Ben tweets that his dad is OK

Chef Ben Ford @ChefBenFord · 7m 7 minutes ago
At the hospital. Dad is ok. Battered, but ok! He is every bit the man you would think he is. He is an incredibly strong man.

Chef Ben Ford @ChefBenFord · 6m 6 minutes ago
Thank you all for your thoughts and good vibes for my dad.
linbb 0
Great man very good actor also. Glad he is ok and will be back in the air soon I hope.
Dale Ballok 2
P.S. Wish Mr. Ford a full and complete recovery, as he's one of our great actors and personalities. His ability to land that plane as he did shows that training does pay off.
GraemeSmith 2
Gashed head and broken arm.

Just heard a LiveATC clip with a tiny bit of video on the news.

"53178 - Engine failure - immediate return"

..and if that doesn't sound like someone with a high workload under stress I don't know what does. But the plane is clearly gliding and not mushing in.

Looks like he pulled off the impossible turn and made the safety zone. If you look at the tiny 9 hole Penmar golf course:

it was that or the ocean.
SootBox 2
Like he said in one of his Indiana Jones movies... "Fly yes... Land NO"
Jack370 1
And Harrison Ford landed successfully in real life just like in the movies. Except that the real life pilot was not a rookie and it's not 1977 anymore. :) It is amazing though, is Harrison Ford a real "Superman"?
sharon bias 2
He was out of the plane when emergency folks arrived. Two doctors on the golf course started treatment. I understand there were major head wounds, which bleed like crazy. Could be it looked worse than it is.

Anyone who walks away from a crash has an angel on their shoulder.
Rick Enders 2
Everyone wants to close Samta Monica Airport because of noise and safety issues. ARE THEY BLIND OF DEAF? Why don't they do something about all the drag racing on their streets, all the noise from the cars, all the accidents and the dangers of killing or injuring innocent pedrestrians and little children. ONLY THE IGNORANT, GREEDY, PEOPLE THAT LIKES ALL THE ATTENTION THEY CAN GET AND THOSE THAT HAVE ABSOLUTLEY NO KNOWLEDGE ABOUT FLYING AN AIRPLANE COMPLAINS. Most likely those that that are allways complaining would never have the knowledge or mental ability to pass any kind of pilots test to get a pilots license. And thank God for that.
james sloat 2
Hey Rick. You are spot sir. I live just south of SMO and have fighting with the neighborhood association for years now. They have threatened pilots, employees and aircraft owners via with direct or indirect actions. The Santa Monica city council has sued the FAA twice and lost both cases. There are now threats via several social media la forms to destroy the runway ie; another Meigs Field scenario. The pollution "problem" they rant about is just ridiculous. We have two of the most crowded freeways intersecting less than a mile from SMO. Another problem that exists is that the east end of the airport borders the city of Los Angeles and the airport itself lies within the city of Santa Monica so we have two neighborhood associations ranting to close the airport with city councilmen from both cities representing both groups. I ask the question continuously which is: Were any of the residents forced to sign their lease, rental or mortgage contracts? I still have not been replied to with any kind of response as of this comment post. AOPA is quite active and Harrison Ford has been a huge help financially and legally. For those of you who have a interest in saving the general aviation industry, just take a look at the comments in Santa Monica Daily Press and Santa Monica Mirror. The militant threats are still there and it is this kind of behavior that Mr. Ford has helped with so graciously. By the way, I had the pleasure to meet up with Mr. Ford a few years up in McCall, ID where my parents lived. He had flown his Beaver in and parked it not far from our hangar. We had the pleasure of meeting him and getting some great photos of the aircraft.
An inspiration at 72! Glad to see he made it down alive!
John Blarney
Dale Ballok 2
Mark: As a retired firefighter, I couldn't agree more about the inaccurate info let out over the media describing an incident. So many times, I couldn't believe the description and accounts reported of an incident I was personally on the scene of.
It's like all the media cares about anymore is the ability to claim they are the only station with this "breaking news". When in fact they're breaking the story without all the facts, or incorrect facts! I only believe half of what I see reported, knowing that fact. Anything to get viewers attention!
I am sorry And whish Mr. Ford be find very soon and be complete recovery
Jack370 1
I meant SJC not SJO, but that's another congested airport in South America nobody would dare close.
Patrick917 1
I wonder if he could've made the beach.
GraemeSmith 1
260 at 10 knots. I would have gone downwind like he did.
John Yount 1
My parents owned a crop dusting company in central California. One of the aircraft on the field was a PT 22, 1950's. I was told "don't even think about it (PT 22)" Kinner engine, aka as killer Kinner, flew at 90 stalled at 90, landed at 90. PT 22 killed more pilots than the enemy. One flight characteristic of the PT 22 was its ability to "snap" if you sneezed. I was surprised at the amount of radio traffic that took place when she crapped out. Aviate, navigate, communicate in that order. Sounds like Mr. Ford did a good job. Quick recovery.
Horse feathers...that's the kind of myth that gets started by people who don't know anything about planes. Mine cruised nicely at 120kt, landed at 75 and stalled around 65 and the Kinner is a damn tough old motor. I flew mine back to Tulsa from Wharton Texas where I bought it and discovered one of the main connecting rod bolts was completely was held on with just 1 bolt. It used as much oil as gas coming back though, we didn't know why until we tore it down. I used to love doing snap rolls at the top of a loop with the 22.
BaronG58 1
Wharton, Texas....I did lots of rabbit hunting in them parts back in the day.
Ford is a real "Pilot" on the same ladder as Capt. Sulley, only a slightly lower rung.
Jack370 1
Your comment should have ended at the comma. :)
Paul Thomas 1
No Kessel Run references?
Bob Roehrer 1
another example of the need for 5 point harnesses...assuming from the injury he wasn't wearing one.
Installing one in an open cockpit plane like this one would be an interesting project.
Bob Roehrer 1
yeah...probably take $500 worth of FAA paperwork, too. And then there is a full face helmet idea. I would consider such if I was flying such a bird. I'll bet the thought is crossing his mind now....
TWA55 1
So happy he survived, get well soon and get back in that cockpit.
Having engine trouble that soon after takeoff suggests to me that the gas may have had water in it. Nevertheless, Mr. ford did a fine job of avoiding homes. I wish him the speediest recovery
Dale Ballok 1
It's just that some people steer every discussion into politics
Torsten Hoff 1
Based on video shown on CNN he came down about 200 yards from the west end of the airport property. The active runway was 21, damage to the golf course indicates he may have been on a reciprocal heading for runway 03. Maybe he lost power and tried to return?
Jack370 1
There was only about 92 seconds between the time Harrison Ford was cleared for takeoff from KSMO until he called in the engine failure emergency. Given the congestion of the area and places to land, the golf course was the only place he could have landed. He did a remarkable job and his flying was exemplary. My prayers are with him and that he continues to fly.

If you want to hear the uninterrupted raw ATC comm from the time Ford was given take off clearance to the time they closed the airport, I posted it on youtube here: It is in real time with no editing of dead air time.
fred brillo 0
The Pt-22 must be a very wicked and unforgiving plane to fly....I know of two other instances where they were augered in by very experienced pilots...back in the 1970's..
I owned one for several years back in the 1980s, they are a joy to fly but are, as you say, not forgiving. But they are dear friend who has passed away also had one that lost its engine -literally- on the way to EAA at Rockford. One half of the wood prop separated from the hub and it ripped the engine clear out of the mounts, it was dangling by the wires & cables and he couldn't even shut it down because the P leads were torn loose. He finally managed to wrestle it down to the the ground and he and his wife survived and sustained minor injuries .
Andrew Duncan 0
Just a fascinating note: you can see the plane sitting on the ramp at Visalia, CA on Google Earth.,+CA/@36.3227728,-119.3937729,66m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x8094d882d3eb8729:0x5592e3ee010b480e
Andrew Duncan 1
Edit: That one has a radial engine. Not the same aircraft. My bad.
Torsten Hoff 1
The accident aircraft did have a radial engine, but the fuselage wasn't painted and was polished duraluminium.
I understand mr ford is an experienced pilot..reports say he is not "critically"injured having a large gash across his forehead and a broken leg (you never know about these things however)..I am happy to hear he survived and there was no fire..i have never flown into santa monica airrpor,but the smaller airports,and even some large metropolitan ones,seem to have had "civilization" (meaning housing developments and industrial parks)grow in around them to the point of it being a problem for both noise and safety..the airports were plotted and mapped for their locations long before any housing moved in around them,so it is my feeling that homeowners and businesses should not complain..
joel wiley 1
I think you will find the same issues with any airport in or near an urban area. Developers encroach and create/exacerbate overfight and noise issues for the airport. With KMHR near Sacramento, developers obtained permission to build into the approach pattern and next to a rendering plant. The issues were not disclosed to the buyers who complain their peaceful little world is 'disrupted'. I think some developers look at KSMO and count the houses they could put on the airport grounds. Boards of Supervisors cannot be bought, only rented-
Paulo Cabral 0
Nobody's hurts
Well,least he is still alive Tis a good man he is a conservative I hope. VC
Hugh Silcox 5
This from Wikipedia:

"Like his parents, Ford is a lifelong Democrat and a close friend of former President Bill Clinton.

On September 7, 1995, Ford testified before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee in support of the Dalai Lama and an independent Tibet. In 2008, he narrated the documentary Dalai Lama Renaissance.

In 2003, he publicly condemned the Iraq War and called for 'regime change' in the United States. He also criticized Hollywood for making violent movies and called for more gun control in the United States."

Not that any of that is relevant to this current story.
Dale Ballok -3
Hugh: since your diatribe is in no way related to the story here, why in the hell did you feel obligated to waste your and our time on posting non-applicable garble? If you can't post a related comment, keep your comments to yourself!
joel wiley 5
I think he was replying to a comment that, IMHO, has similar relevance. Did you take umbrage to that one as well?
btweston 3
Uh, what?
what the hell does that have to do with anything?
StarFlyr 2
Nothing except I find myself wondering why Hollywood celebrities viewpoints should even matter? Ford's a good actor and seems to be a great pilot, but I could care less what he or any of those Hollywoodies think about politics.


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.