US actor Harrison Ford piloted a plane across a runway as another aircraft was taking off, aviation officials said Wednesday, confirming they have opened an investigation.
It is the latest aviation mishap for the 77-year-old Indiana Jones star and flying enthusiast, who misheard an air traffic instruction in the incident which did not result in any damage last Friday.
"The FAA is investigating an incident in which the pilot of an Aviat Husky taxied across the runway... while another aircraft was performing a touch-and-go landing," the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement to AFP. The planes were 3,600 feet apart during the incident at a Los Angeles county airport.
Ford had been told to stop as the other plane practiced landing and immediately taking off, but instead he continued across the runway.
"Excuse me sir, I thought exactly the opposite. I'm terribly sorry," Ford can be heard saying in an audio recording.
Ford – one of the biggest names in Hollywood, who rose to fame as smuggler-pilot Han Solo in the blockbuster Star Wars movies – avoided punishment over a near-miss aviation incident at another southern California airport in 2017. Ford mistakenly landed a plane of the same model on a taxiway instead of the runway, passing over a Boeing 737 with 110 passengers and six crew on board.
Two years earlier, Ford performed an emergency landing after suffering engine failure in a World War II vintage aircraft, hitting a tree and crashing onto a California golf course. He suffered multiple injuries in the 2015 incident, including a broken pelvis and ankle.
Ford took his first flying lessons in college, gave up due to lack of money, but got back into it after becoming an established film star. Now with years of flying under his belt, Ford has been the owner of several planes, from two-seat bush aircraft to corporate jets.
Representatives for Ford told AFP that "there was never any danger of a collision" in the latest incident. – AFP