Actor Harrison Ford was injured Thursday when a vintage World War II training plane he was piloting crash landed on a California golf course.
The 72-year-old actor, who was conscious and breathing when rescue crews reached him, was stabilized and taken to a hospital, where he was in fair to moderate condition, authorities said. Sources said he sustained cuts to his head. There was no word on other injuries or what caused the plane to crash about 2:20 p.m. (5:20 p.m. ET). It appeared he was flying solo.
“We are very thankful that the passenger had [only] very moderate injuries,” Los Angeles Assistant Fire Chief Patrick Butler said.
The plane clipped some tree branches and crashed on the golf course shortly after takeoff from Santa Monica Airport, Butler said. An eyewitness, Howard Teba, an employee at Penmar Golf Course, said he put a blanket under Ford’s hip.
“There was blood all over his face,” Teba said. “Two very fine doctors were treating him, taking good care of him.”
Mike Bonin, a Los Angeles City Council member, agreed, telling NBC Los Angeles: “Thank God that this incident happened on a golf course where there is a relatively open space.”
Bonis has lobbied to close the airport as being inadequate. “This airport is remarkably close to residential areas and flight schools, which is very concerning,” he said.
An avid flyer of both planes and helicopters, Ford was in a bad crash of a Bell chopper in 1999 Santa Clara, California. In 2008, he told National Geographic, “Well, there was a mechanical failure while we were practicing power recovery autorotations. It was more or less a hard landing. Luckily, I was with another aviation professional and neither of us was hurt — and both of us are still flying.”
The National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending an investigator.