(Corrects length of time Harrison has been licensed pilot to 20
By Steve Gorman
LOS ANGELES, April 3 Actor Harrison Ford, the
daring space pilot of "Star Wars" fame, will get to keep flying
airplanes in real life after federal officials closed a probe of
his latest aviation mishap near Los Angeles without fines or
other discipline, his lawyer said on Monday.
Ford, 74, came under investigation after he mistakenly flew
his single-engine private plane over an American Airlines
passenger jet and landed on a taxiway, rather than a runway, on
Feb. 13 at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana.
The Federal Aviation Administration determined at the
conclusion of its inquiry that "no administrative or enforcement
action was warranted," Ford's lawyer, Stephen Hofer said in a
statement. "Mr. Ford retains his pilot's certificate without
The actor, who played swashbuckling space smuggler and
Millennium Falcon pilot Han Solo in the "Star Wars" film
franchise, also was cited by the agency for his "long history of
compliance" with FAA regulations and "his cooperative attitude
during the investigation," Hofer said.
Although Ford incurred no penalty, he agreed to undergo
voluntary "airman counseling" before the FAA closed the matter,
his lawyer said. It was Ford's second known misadventure in the
more than 20 years since becoming a licensed pilot.
In 2015, he crashed a vintage plane onto a golf course near
a Santa Monica airport, suffering serious injuries and badly
damaging the aircraft. He told investigators then he did not
recall the moments before the plane went down.
In addition to interviewing Ford following the Santa Ana
incident, investigators examined audio tapes of pilot and air
traffic control radio traffic, radar data and a
three-dimensional flight analysis.
The actor was alone and at the controls of his Aviat Husky
on a landing approach when he errantly flew over a Boeing 737
preparing for takeoff with 116 passengers and crew aboard, then
landed his plane on a taxiway parallel to the runway assigned
Ford was clearly embarrassed by the gaffe, according to
radio traffic, acknowledging to the tower, "I'm the schmuck that
landed on the taxiway."
Audio also revealed Ford had apparently been momentarily
distracted by an Airbus passenger jet landing just ahead of him.
The FAA declined comment on the case other than saying it
had completed an investigation of a Feb. 13 incident in which a
pilot landed on a John Wayne Airport taxiway.
Ford has logged more than 5,000 hours of flight time without
being subject to FAA discipline, Hofer said.
(Reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)