For Second Time, Harrison Ford Crashes Aircraft, Lucky to Escape

Harrison Ford (Creative Commons)

Harrison Ford (Creative Commons)

Hollywood actor Harrison Ford has crashed his vintage World War II era training plane on a golf course in California at about 2:20 p.m. (5:20 p.m. ET) and was rescued breathing but badly battered. This si not the first first time for aviator to crash his aircraft. Last time, he crashed a helicopter on October 23, 1999.

Ford, a veteran actor and pilot, was involved in the crash of a Bell 206L4 LongRanger helicopter (N36R) over the Lake Piru riverbed near Santa Clarita, California, while he was on a routine training flight. He survived the crash and his instructor too escaped unhurt.

With a private pilot license in fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, Ford has often provided emergency helicopter services to the local authorities, including rescuing a hiker with over-hydration once.

He took his pilot training way back in the 1960s at Wild Rose Idlewild Airport in Wild Rose, Wisconsin, flying in a Piper PA-22 Tri-Pacer, but stopped it in the middle. Later, in the mid-1990s, he bought a used Gulfstream II and asked one of his pilots, Terry Bender, to give him flying lessons. They started flying a Cessna 182 out of Jackson, Wyoming, later switching to Teterboro, New Jersey, flying a Cessna 206.

His first accident was on October 23, 1999, when he crashed a Bell 206L4 LongRanger helicopter (N36R) that he was piloting over the Lake Piru riverbed near Santa Clarita, California, on a routine training flight. While attempting a second autorotation with powered recovery, the aircraft’s altitude dropped to 150–200 feet and failed to recover before
hitting the ground. It landed hard and skidded in the loose gravel before one of its skids struck a log and flipped on one side but Ford and the instructor escaped unhurt though the helicopter was seriously damaged. When asked about the incident by fellow pilot James Lipton in an interview on the TV show Inside, he jus said, “I broke it.”

Many times, Ford preferred to fly his Bell 407 kept in Jackson, Wyoming, and used it in two mountain rescue operations during his assigned duty time helping the Teton County Search and Rescue. In one of the rescues, a hiker who had lost her wasy was rescued and she was disoriented vomited in his Bell 407. When she realised later who the pilot was, she said:”I can’t believe I barfed in Harrison Ford’s helicopter!”

Ford’s other preferred aircraft was his de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver (N28S) he reportedly liked the sound of its Pratt & Whitney R-985 radial engine. He once said that it had been flown in the CIA’s Air America operations, and was riddled with bullet holes, which were later patched up.

In March 2004, Ford officially became chairman of the Young Eagles program of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and made appearances with the Young Eagles at the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh gathering at Oshkosh, Wisconsin for two years. He had flown over 280 children as part of the Young Eagles program, in his DHC-2 Beaver, which can seat the actor and five children.

In 2009, he had appeared in Web ads for General Aviation Serves America, a campaign by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and he is also an honorary board member of the humanitarian aviation organization Wings of Hope.


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