NBC: Harrison Ford Lands On Taxiway

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NBC News reported Tuesday that Harrison Ford mistakenly landed his Husky on a taxiway at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, on Monday, after flying above an American Airlines 737 full of 110 passengers and 6 crew. The FAA told NBC that Ford was given correct landing instructions by ATC, and he read them back. But he then flew above the 737 and asked controllers, "Was that airliner meant to be underneath me?" The passenger plane, AA Flight 1546, “managed to depart safely for Dallas just minutes after the incident,” NBC News reported. 

Ford was cleared to land on Runway 20L, which NBC noted is a narrow runway, but instead he lined up on the parallel Taxiway C. The 737 was waiting for takeoff at the edge of 20L, but it's not clear how close Ford's Husky approached to the airliner. Ford’s representatives have made no comment in response to NBC's requests for more information, the network said. Ford was injured in a crash last March, when he landed his Ryan PT-22 on a Santa Monica golf course. The NTSB's final report blamed the engine failure on the main metering jet in the carburetor coming loose. Ford, 72, owns several aircraft and has been involved in several other incidents and accidents. In 1999, he made a hard landing on a riverbed, while flying a helicopter with an instructor. In 2000, Ford damaged a Beech Bonanza during a landing. Nobody was hurt in either incident. 

Comments (12)

I always thought that any landing you can walk away from is a good landing!

Posted by: Don Lineback | February 15, 2017 6:46 AM    Report this comment

He's 74.
Also, WTF? Han Solo jokes aside, the competency is coming into question.

Posted by: Robert Shapiro | February 15, 2017 7:21 AM    Report this comment

Age isn't necessarily a factor. If this has been someone younger (perhaps someone in government), would the reaction be the same? How about a two-pilot crewed airliner landing at the wrong airport, or missing a radio call to descend? Competency may be a factor, but so could many other things too.

Posted by: Gary Baluha | February 15, 2017 7:47 AM    Report this comment

"Age isn't necessarily a factor." Right. Neither could denial be a factor.

Posted by: Ken Keen | February 15, 2017 8:00 AM    Report this comment

Senility setting in perhaps? Gonna happen to us all. Some sooner, some later.

We don't need no stinkin' medicals.

Posted by: Jeff Land | February 15, 2017 9:35 AM    Report this comment

My first instructor flew well into his 90's before he hung up his wings. He had no problems.

Posted by: Denis Arquette | February 15, 2017 11:49 AM    Report this comment

Age can be a factor as well as the individual's history of accidents and/or incidents. There comes a time to park it before harming things, oneself orr others. Such is life!

Posted by: Rafael Sierra | February 15, 2017 4:27 PM    Report this comment

It is an easy mistake and happens a lot more frequently than you think. I wrote this piece for Aviation Safety that is published on AvWeb (Wrong Airport, Wrong Runway) 2 years ago after a Boeing Dream Lifter and a C-17 landed at the wrong airports.

Posted by: Mike Hart | February 15, 2017 4:37 PM    Report this comment

In reality (not "media" reality), this is not really a big deal. There was no danger to the 737 or any other aircraft. The media love writing things about which they know very little.

Posted by: Dan Jenkins | February 16, 2017 5:35 AM    Report this comment

When you have to ask "Was that airliner meant to be underneath me?" while landing... You are in the wrong place!! Go around!!

Posted by: James Roberts | February 16, 2017 9:41 AM    Report this comment

It was a mistake. People, both young and old, make mistakes. The taxiway is probably wider than many home-base runways.

Fortunately no harm was done; maybe he should be given a mandatory training assignment, but the "off with his head" calls are a little over the top!

Posted by: A Richie | February 16, 2017 10:43 AM    Report this comment

Get a grip guys! Senility, denial, competency, even Han Solo joke references?
I'll trust the proper authorities to sort the facts & render an informed judgement

Posted by: John Costello | February 21, 2017 7:59 PM    Report this comment

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