A plane piloted by Harrison Ford flew right over a grounded airliner that had 110 people aboard before landing on the taxiway, narrowly avoiding a potentially serious aviation accident, video released Tuesday shows.
The Feb. 13 incident at a Southern Californian airport is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration, the agency has confirmed.
In the newly released, soundless clip, a yellow, single-engine plane quickly descends over an American Airlines plane, casting its shadow on the commercial airliner, which is moving slowly on the taxiway. The small plane then mistakenly lands on the taxiway nearby.
A spokesman, who wouldn’t name the pilot, previously told The Washington Post that air traffic controllers had cleared the pilot to land at John Wayne Airport in Orange County and that the pilot correctly read back the clearance.
“The pilot then landed on a taxiway that runs parallel to the runway, overflying a Boeing 737 that was holding short of the runway,” the spokesman said.
NBC News reported that Ford could be heard asking on an air traffic control recording, “Was that airliner meant to be underneath me?”
Minutes later the American Airlines flight, which also had six crew members on board, safely departed, the Associated Press reported.
No explanation of the mistake has been provided so far, according to the wire service.
Ford, an experienced pilot and vintage plane collector, has been involved in crashes and near-crashes before.
Two years ago, Ford crashed a small vintage plane into a Venice, Calif., golf course. The injured pilot suffered “moderate” trauma and had to be hospitalized, a fire department spokesman said at the time.
Ford’s publicist in 2015 said that incident involved a World War II vintage plane that had engine trouble at takeoff. “He had no other choice but to make an emergency landing, which he did safely.”
The actor had previously made two crash landings, one in Nebraska in 2000 and another in California in 1999 during a helicopter training.
Ford has long been involved in aviation circles, receiving a Living Legend in Aviation award by the Kiddie Hawk Air Academy and visiting Capitol Hill to advocate for small airports.
“Aviation helped me reinvent my life,” Ford said during his 2013 Capitol Hill visit.