Harrison Ford narrowly avoids crashing his plane into passenger jet while landing at California airport

Hollywood star mistakes taxiway for runway and asks, 'Was that jet meant to be underneath me?'

Benjamin Kentish
Wednesday 15 February 2017 11:17 GMT
Harrison Ford has been involved in a string of flying accidents
Harrison Ford has been involved in a string of flying accidents

Harrison Ford has been involved in a near miss while flying his plane in California.

The actor is said to have landed on the wrong runway at John Wayne international airport in Orange County, south of Los Angeles, in his single engine Aviat Husky – narrowly missing an American Airlines Boeing 737 passenger jet that was waiting to take off.

The jet, which had 116 people on board, was able to depart for Dallas as planned just minutes after the incident

Ford, 74, is believed to have mistaken a taxiway for a runway. NBC News reports suggest upon landing he asked air traffic control: “Was that airliner meant to be underneath me?”

He was then told he had landed on a taxiway rather than the runway – an offence under the US Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) safety rules. The actor is now under investigation by the FAA and if found guilty could lose his pilot’s licence.

The incident is not the first mishap Ford has had while flying. In 2015 he crashed a Second World War-era plane on a Santa Monica golf course after its engine failed. He was badly injured but recovered.

In 1999 he was involved in a helicopter crash during training in California, and a year later scraped a six-seater plane along a Nebraska airport runway after an emergency landing.

The Star Wars and Indiana Jones star is an experienced pilot who collects vintage planes and has spoken publicly about his love of aviation. In 2009 he told Downwind magazine: “I enjoy the pure freedom and the beauty of the third dimension when you fly. Getting in the sky is a rare experience.”

A spokesperson for Mr Ford declined to comment to reporters.

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