Harrison Ford Suffered Broken Pelvis, Ankle In Plane Crash
Actor Harrison Ford was described as "fine" after he crashed his World War II-era single-engine plane in a golf course in Venice yesterday afternoon. KTLA spoke to a source close to Ford's family, who said, "He’s fine, has a few gashes." His son, Ben Ford, confirmed over Twitter last night, "Dad is ok. Battered, but ok! He is every bit the man you would think he is. He is an incredibly strong man."
The 72-year-old suffered a broken pelvis and broken ankle when the engine of his restored Ryan PT-22 Recruit failed. He was conscious when he was treated by doctors who happened to be playing at the Penmar Golf Course. Dr. Sanjay Khurana, an orthopedic spine surgeon, told CBS LA that when the plane crashed, he ran over and saw "a passenger in the rear seat slumped over in distress, belted in. I could smell fuel."
Khurana and other golfers pulled Ford from the wreckage after they noticed fuel leaking from the plane. “We wanted to get him out safely and with the fuel leaking out, I motioned to some of the other folks at the golf course to put dirt on the fuel so it wouldn’t combust,” he said. “I just wanted to get him out safely so that the situation wouldn’t erupt into a fire.”
It wasn’t until Ford was out of the plane when Khurana realized who he was.
“He was a very familiar face. Kind of somewhat of an iconic face. And yeah, I did recognize who he was,” he said.
The actor is being called a hero for landing the plane safely and away from homes.
According to the LA Times, Ford, an experienced pilot, "plowed the yellow-and-silver plane into a fairway at Penmar golf course about 2:25 p.m., shortly after takeoff. According to air traffic control recordings, he reported an engine failure to the Santa Monica tower and had been cleared to return." The incident has raised more concerns about flight traffic at Santa Monica Airport, with an advocate for closing the airport pointing out, "Santa Monica is unique in the nation because it has dense neighborhoods next to an airport."
Ford's publicist issued this statement: "Harrison was flying a WW2 vintage plane today which had engine trouble upon take off. He had no other choice but to make an emergency landing, which he did safely. He was banged up and is in the hospital receiving medical care. The injuries sustained are not life threatening, and he is expected to make a full recovery."
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash. NTSB Investigator Patrick Jones said, "Flying an aircraft, whether it's this aircraft or a helicopter or whatever, it all takes experience. This pilot is an experienced pilot."
Jones also said Ford was lucky to have survived the crash, "A pilot [and] any… human being [who survives] an accident is a lucky individual, but having said that, there are over 2,000 accidents a year nationwide that involve varying levels of injuries [from] none to fatalities. It is unusual, actually, for pilots to lose their lives because aviation is a pretty safe operation."