Actor Harrison Ford, a noted pilot, failed to listen to the air traffic controller when he landed his single-engine Aviat Husky at Hawthorne Municipal Airport outside of Los Angeles recently. The controller told Ford to hold his position instead of taxiing across the runway. Another aircraft needed to make a touch-and-go landing. Ford did not comply.
“Get across that runway now,” says the air traffic controller on a recording from the tower. “I told you before to hold short. You need to listen up.”
Ford, 77, immediately admitted his mistake. “Excuse me, sir,” he said. “I thought exactly the opposite. I’m terribly sorry.”
The FAA says there was never any danger of a collision, but it will nevertheless be investigating the incident.
This is not the first time Ford has had mishaps with his plane, according to the New York Times. In 1999, Ford and a flight instructor were forced to make an emergency landing of the Bell 206 helicopter they were flying. They landed in a dry riverbed in Santa Clarita, California. No one was hurt, but the helicopter was damaged.
Then in 2000, Ford was landing a Beechcraft Bonanza in Lincoln, Nebraska, when a gust of wind blew the plane off of the runway. No one was injured, but the plane sustained minor damage.
In 2015, Ford was piloting a World War II-era training plane. He crashed into a Venice, California, golf course shortly after takeoff.
In 2017, Ford few over a Boeing 737 commercial airliner carrying 100 passengers and landed on a taxiway at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, California. Ford was not disciplined, but the FAA ordered him to complete awareness training.
As for the most recent incident, Ford’s publicist says that he misheard the air traffic controller’s instruction.
“He immediately acknowledged the mistake and apologized to ATC for the error,” she said in an email. “The purpose of the flight was to maintain currency and proficiency in the aircraft. No one was injured and there was never any danger of a collision.”
There are many reasons for aircraft incidents. Age and declining ability could be among them, in some cases. Pilot error, however, is not restricted to older pilots. If you or a loved one has been in a plane crash, talk with an aviation attorney about getting the answers you need.