FORD MIS­TAK­ENLY LANDS PLANE ON TAXIWAY

New Straits Times - - World -

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HAR­RI­SON Ford said he was dis­tracted and con­cerned about tur­bu­lence from an­other air­craft last month when he mis­tak­enly landed on a taxiway at a South­ern Cal­i­for­nia air­port after fly­ing low over an air­liner with 116 peo­ple aboard, ac­cord­ing to an au­dio record­ing re­leased on Fri­day.

“I’m the schmuck who landed on the taxiway,” Ford told an air traf­fic con­troller shortly after the near-miss on Feb 13 at John Wayne Air­port in Orange County. Record­ings of Ford’s con­ver­sa­tions with air traf­fic con­trollers were re­leased on Fri­day by the Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The 74-year-old ac­tor was told to land his sin­gle-en­gine plane on Run­way 20L, but he landed on a par­al­lel taxiway in­stead. An Amer­i­can Air­lines flight was on the same taxiway, wait­ing to take off.

A video re­leased last month showed Ford’s Aviat Husky plane from be­hind as it de­scended to­wards the air­field where the Amer­i­can Air­lines Boe­ing 737 was slowly taxi­ing.

“Was that air­liner meant to be un­derneath me?” Ford asked the air traf­fic con­trol tower as he landed in the wrong spot.

“Oh. I landed on Taxiway Char­lie. I un­der­stand now. Sorry for that,” Ford said.

In a phone call with an air traf­fic con­troller after the in­ci­dent, Ford said he “got dis­tracted by the air­liner” and also men­tioned “big tur­bu­lence” from an­other plane that was land­ing.

The Amer­i­can Air­lines flight, with 110 pas­sen­gers and six crew mem­bers, de­parted for Dal­las a few min­utes later.

When an air traf­fic con­troller told the Star Wars and In­di­ana Jones star to take his time get­ting the num­ber from his pi­lot’s li­cence, re­mark­ing it wasn’t a big deal, Ford re­sponded: “It’s a big deal for me.”

After Ford told the em­ployee his name, the man seemed taken aback and as­sured Ford he won’t share his phone num­ber with any­one.

Ford, who col­lects vin­tage planes, has a long record as an avi­a­tor. He has had sev­eral close calls and a se­ri­ous ac­ci­dent in March 2015 when he was in­jured in his World War 2-era trainer. It crashed on a golf course here after en­gine fail­ure. AP

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Har­ri­son Ford

Becky G

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