Harrison Ford, actor and licensed aviator, was involved in a moderately bad plane crash yesterday. He took off on a solo flight from Santa Monica Airport at and very shortly after radioed back to the tower that his WWII-era Ryan ST3KR had suffered failure of its single engine and that he needed runway clearance. He did not make it back to the runway, but instead crash landed about 900 feet from the 8th hole at Penmar Golf Club, just outside the airport. He was taken to the hospital where he was treated for mild to moderate injuries and is listed in Stable Condition. His son, Ben, Tweeted the good news to all his fans.
According to a witness who was on the golf course at the time of the crash, they heard the plane take off, the engine sputter, and then go silent, indicating complete failure. Next, loud cracking noises followed by a deafening boom as the plane clipped a tree and then crashed into the course. Luckily for Ford, two spine surgeons happened to be on the course at the time and were able to respond almost immediately. Everyone on the scene remarked that Ford was strong and alert even with a “large gash” on his head.
72 year-old Ford was hospitalized this past year due to an accident on the set of the newest addition to the Star Wars franchise that resulted in a broken left leg. He underwent surgery for the injury, pushed through physical therapy, and just two months later was back to filming. Ford had previously been involved in another aviation-related crash outside of his action-packed movies. In 1999, Ford was participating in practice maneuvers in a helicopter and made a hard landing in the Lake Piru Riverbed, rolling the craft. Neither he, nor the instructor were injured. The helicopter, however, was not so lucky.
Ford has been licensed to fly helicopters and fixed-wing planes by the FAA since 2002, and has been in love with them since he was a child. He had just renewed his pilot’s license. The plane itself was built in 1942, the year Ford was born, and had passed muster and was deemed airworthy until 10-31 of this year when it would need another inspection. According to the FAA, in the past 10 years there have been 6 other crashes involving this model of plane- one of which was fatal.
Ford is known for his tough-guy characters like Indiana Jones, Jack Ryan, Han Solo, and Rick Deckard. He has fought Nazis, saved the world, taken us through space, the jungle, and the Old West. He has been a good-natured goofball, a wronged man thirsty for justice, and the President of the United States of America. He has been a staple of American cinema since the 70s, with his career spanning a whopping 6 decades.
On behalf of everyone at Word of the Nerd, we wish Mr. Ford a very speedy recovery. We know you don’t put much stock in hokey religions, but may the Force be with you!
Star Wars: Episode VII is set for release in December 2015!