Hollywood icon Harrison Ford, who survived a crash on Thursday when an airplane he was piloting made an emergency landing on a golf course in California, always has been fascinated with aviation.
During an interview with CBS News in 2005, the legendary Hollywood star said he took a couple of flying lessons in college. But he couldn’t afford many more because it was $11 an hour to fly with an instructor pilot, he said. “I always had the dream,” he added.
On Thursday, the 72-year-old actor took off from the Santa Monica Municipal Airport in a WWII-era vintage plane. He reportedly had trouble flying immediately, and crash-landed on a golf course in Mar Vista. He was conscious and breathing when rescue crews reached him and transported him to a nearby hospital. But he sustained cuts to his head. He is in stable condition and expected to make a full recovery. He was flying solo.
Ford, a longtime aviator, previously was involved in a 1999 helicopter crash in Santa Clarita, Calif., when his plane failed to recover power in time during a training flight, Entertainment Weekly reported.
Ford, who first gained worldwide fame for his lead role in the original “Star Wars” trilogy and played the title character of the blockbuster “Indiana Jones” franchise, has also been involved in at least two real-life rescue missions.
In July 1999, Ford picked up a hiker in Idaho Falls, Idaho, after the woman had climbed the mountain but wasn’t able to descend because of elevation sickness and dehydration. Ford rescued her and flew her to a nearby hospital.
Then, a year later, Ford joined the search in a Utah forest for a missing Boy Scout who had wandered off a trail. Ford and another searcher found Cody Clawson, then 13, about 10 miles from the Scout’s camp.
Ford’s A-list career has spanned six decades and he remains one of the highest grossing actors of all time. And the aging action star shows no signs of slowing down.
He’s reprising his beloved role as Han Solo in the highly anticipated “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” scheduled for release in December. Earlier this month, he confirmed that he was also returning to the role of Rick Deckard in the long-awaited sequel to the 1982 cult classic “Blade Runner.”
Fans have had a field day with the news of the crash, creating “Star Wars”-themed memes all over social media.
Meanwhile, NBC has confirmed that there will be no press briefings on Ford’s accident on Friday. But his plane will be removed from the golf course.