VENICE (CNS) - Actor Harrison Ford crashed a World War II-era single-engine plane today on a Venice golf course just west of Santa Monica Airport and was taken to a hospital in fair to moderate condition.
The single-engine plane, identified by the National Transportation Safety Board as a Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR, went down about 2:25 p.m. at the Penmar Golf Course off the 1200 block of Rose Avenue, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott said.
Scott said there was only one person aboard the plane. Authorities declined to identify the pilot, saying only it was a man in his 70s who was conscious and alert when he was treated by paramedics at the scene. LAFD Assistant Chief Patrick Butler said the pilot was outside the plane when crews arrived.
Ford‚Äôs son, Ben Ford, posted on his Twitter page that his father was “OK. Battered, but OK!”
“He is every bit the man you would think he is,” Ben Ford wrote. “He is an incredibly strong man. Thank you for all your thoughts and good vibes for my dad.”
Dr. Sanjay Khurana, a spinal surgeon who was golfing when the plane went down, told reporters he saw the plane clip a tree before coming down.
He and others examined the pilot, who had suffered significant soft tissue injuries, made sure he was stable and helped him out of the plane, Khurana said.
NTSB Investigator Patrick Jones said, “We believe that he is going to survive.”
Ford, 72, is best known for playing Han Solo in three “Star Wars” movies and his roles as Indiana Jones in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and its sequels. He is a longtime aviation enthusiast who has even piloted helicopters in search-and-rescue situations.
The celebrity website TMZ posted photos of the actor from last month in the cockpit of a plane that appears to be the one that crashed.
The airplane landed right-side up and was largely intact, and it left gouges on the golf course fairway.
Ford had just taken off, experienced engine trouble and was circling back to the airport when he crash-landed on the golf course, according to the NTSB, which is investigating the crash along with the Federal Aviation¬†Administration.
An investigation such as this one typically takes two months to complete, with a final report ready in about a year, Jones said.
“We go back to the basics. The initial report was a loss of engine power. We are going to look at that but we are going to look at it all, at everything — weather, man, the machine,” Jones said.
The aircraft will be removed from the golf course Friday, Jones said.
Ford owns multiple aircraft and has been active with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. He is also heavily involved with the Experimental Aircraft Association. Known for piloting fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, he crashed a helicopter in the Lake Piru area near Santa Clarita during a training flight in 1999.
The plane that crashed today is registered to MG Aviation Inc. of Camden, Delaware, according to the FAA‚Äôs online aircraft registry.
Last year, Ford was seriously injured during filming of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” delaying filming on the much-anticipated sequel.
Today‚Äôs crash is likely to reinvigorate the debate over the future of Santa Monica Airport. Residents and some city officials have been pushing to close the airport, citing noise and safety issues. Federal authorities have insisted, however, that the city is required to keep the airfield open.