Harrison Ford will not be punished for runway near-miss

Actor to avoid fines or losing pilot’s licence following aviation mishap in February

Footage from February 13th shows actor Harrison Ford flying a single-engine plane dangerously close over a taxiing passenger plane in California. Video: John Wayne Airport

 

US actor Harrison Ford will not be fined or lose his pilot’s licence over his latest aviation mishap, US federal authorities have said.

Ford (74) has been under investigation for the incident at John Wayne airport in Orange County, California, in February, which saw the actor mistakenly land his single-engine Aviat Husky plane on a taxiway rather than a runway, passing over an American Airlines jet that was waiting to take off.

However, Ford’s lawyer, Stephen Hofer, wrote in a statement that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would not fine Ford and the actor would retain his pilot’s licence without restriction.

“The FAA conducted a full investigation into the matter, including an interview with Mr Ford, and determined that no administrative or enforcement action was warranted,” Mr Hofer wrote.

Footage released by the airport showed Ford narrowly missing the American Airlines plane. Recordings later released by the FAA had Ford saying: “I’m the schmuck that landed on the taxiway.”

Mr Hofer said Ford had co-operated with investigators, was a licensed pilot for more than 20 years with more 5,000 hours of flight experience, and had never been the subject of an FAA enforcement action. The actor would retain his pilot’s certificate “without restriction”, but had agreed to undergo “airman counselling” before federal authorities closed the matter.

Ford has been involved in aviation incidents before. In March 2015, he was injured when his second World War-era trainer crashed on a Los Angeles golf course. The actor was praised by onlookers for ingenuity in avoiding more populated areas.

In 1999, the actor crash-landed his helicopter during a training flight, though neither he nor his instructor were hurt in the incident. In 2000, Ford was forced to make an emergency landing at Lincoln Municipal airport in Nebraska while flying a Beechcraft Bonanza due to high winds.

Guardian service