Harrison Ford is reportedly in fair condition following a plane crash Thursday afternoon. The 72-year-old actor was piloting a single-engine vintage World War II training plane that was taking off from the Santa Monica Airport when it crashed at the nearby Penmar Golf Course. Sources on the scene said he sustained cuts to his head, however it is still unclear if Ford had other injuries or exactly what caused the accident. The crash occurred at about 2:20PM PST.
At a press conference shortly after the crash, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Patrick Butler said, “I can report he left the scene conscious and breathing.” Butler continued, “Almost every day of the year, most planes at the airport take off to the west,” Butler said. “When you take off, because of neighbors, pilots are told to sidestep to left and fly over that golf course. Ford was flying over the golf course on the departure end of the runway. The plane was pointed back to the runway; something happened that caused him to turn around. He was trying to make it back to the airport.” Witness Howard Tabe, an employee at the Penmar Golf Course recalled after the crash, “There was blood all over his face,” Tabe said. “Two very fine doctors were treating him, taking good care of him.” Ford’s son Ben tweeted the following from the hospital.
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) March 6, 2015
Ford, who has nearly fifty years of flying experience under his belt, was alone in the plane. This the second serious crash the actor has faced while in the air. In 1999, Ford experienced a helicopter crash while on a training flight with an instructor in Santa Clarita, California. Ford told National Geographic about that experience: “Well, there was a mechanical failure while we were practicing power recovery autorotations. It was more or less a hard landing. Luckily, I was with another aviation professional and neither of us was hurt — and both of us are still flying.” The National Transportation Safety Board reportedly is sending an investigator to examine the details of today’s crash.
Ford, who last appeared on screens in The Expendables 3, has been a fixture in the news recently for reasons involving both upcoming film work and an injury the actor sustained on the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Ford broke his ankle on the set of the J.J. Abrams-directed sequel when a hydraulic door fell on him. Recently it was also announced that Prisoners director Denis Villeneuve was being brought on board to mount a sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 science fiction classic Blade Runner, with Ford returning as the iconic Rick Deckard. He will next be seen on screens in the Blake Lively drama The Age of Adaline, opening in theaters on April 24th.