Harrison Fordaverted a disaster thanks to his fine piloting skills when his WWII aircraft crashed into a golf course in a residential area of Los Angeles. The 72-year-old action star was flying the plane when the engine failed just moments after taking off from Santa Monica Airport. Harrison managed to steer his aircraft away from houses to avoid injuring any bystanders.
The actor was injured in the incident but is expected to make a full recovery. His son Ben, a chef in LA, later tweeted from hospital: " Dad is ok. Battered but ok. He's every bit the man you would think he is. He is an incredibly strong man."
The actor's publicist also confirmed: " The injuries sustained are not life-threatening, and he is expected to make a full recovery."
Harrison was the only person on-board the plane. He was initially treated by two doctors who happened to be on the Penmar Golf Course at the time, before paramedics arrived. By that time, Harrison was outside the plane, and was breathing and conscious, a fire spokesman said.
He had suffered " moderate trauma" and his condition was "fair to moderate" when he was taken to hospital.
One onlooker described the moment the crash took place. " There was no explosion or anything. It just sounded like a car hitting the ground or a tree or something. Like a little bang, and that was it," Jeff Kupryce told the Associated Press. "He ended up crashing around the eighth hole."
Christian Fry, of the Santa Monica Airport Association, said it was " an absolutely beautifully executed emergency landing by an unbelievably well-trained pilot".
Harrison has been a pilot for at least 20 years and owns about a dozen planes. In 2008, he spoke about his love of flying to Barbara Walters. "I love the places you go. I love the people in aviation, the people that I meet in aviation," he said. " I love seeing the world from an airplane."
Later this year, Harrison will be seen reprising the role of Hans Solo in the latest addition to the Star Wars franchise, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He spent much of last year recovering from a broken leg, which he sustained during an accident on the Star Wars set in Pinewood Studios. A door of the iconic Millennium Falcon was said to have fallen on him, and filming had to be rescheduled while he recovered.