FAA Investigating After Harrison Ford Reportedly Flies Across Airliner with 116 Onboard Then Lands on Taxiway
Harrison Ford was involved in an incident with a passenger plane on Monday as he was landing his private aircraft.
Ford, 74, reportedly flew dangerously close to a taxiing passenger plane after mistakenly landing in a taxiway instead of the runway he was cleared for, according to NBC News. A spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed to PEOPLE that an incident took place Monday involving an Aviat Husky aircraft that landed “on a taxiway that runs parallel to the runway,” though the agency did not identify the people involved due to policy.
The actor was reportedly piloting his single-engine plane when tower control gave him the go-ahead to land at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California. But when the actor instead maneuvered toward a taxiway, his plane flew over an American Airlines departing flight with 110 passengers on board and a six-person crew. The Dallas-bound 737 aircraft was reportedly able to safely take off minutes after the incident.
Ford seen in the pilot’s seat of the single-engine plane reportedly involved in the incident
The actor was reportedly captured on air traffic control recordings asking, “Was that airliner meant to be underneath me?” Air traffic control then informed the actor that he inadvertently landed on a taxiway with awaiting aircraft instead of the runway he was instructed to head toward.
The American Airlines pilots were aware of the incident, prompting the airline to alert the FAA and NTSB.
The spokesperson confirmed the FAA is opening an investigation into the incident. If Ford is found at fault, his pilot license — which he uses to operate his vintage plane collection — could be suspended, though he may also just receive a warning letter.
A rep for the actor had no comment.
Ford has been involved in several piloting accidents in the past. The most serious was in 2015, when he crash-landed at a Santa Monica golf course after encountering engine trouble. Ford, who was flying a yellow vintage fighter plane, suffered a broken arm and lacerations to his scalp.
“He had no other choice but to make an emergency landing, which he did safely,” a rep for Ford said in a statement at the time, adding that the actor’s injuries were “not life-threatening”
An eyewitness on the scene of the 2015 crash told PEOPLE: “During takeoff, the engine blew. You could hear it go silent, and then he banked to the left, clipped the tree and fell on the number 8 tee.”
Ford had another scare in the summer of 2000 when his six-passenger plane took a hard landing in Lincoln, Nebraska, but the actor was not hurt. Ford also crash-landed a helicopter in October 1999 while he was practicing emergency landings with a flight instructor.
- Reporting by Mia McNiece