Harrison Ford's Skills in Crash 'Saved Lives'
Actor praised for maneuvering plane away from residential area
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2015 6:29 AM CST
Updated Mar 6, 2015 7:52 AM CST
Officials work on the scene of a vintage airplane that crash-landed on the Penmar Golf Course in the Venice area of Los Angeles, Thursday, March 5, 2015.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
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(Newser) – Harrison Ford will reportedly make a full recovery after crashing his plane on a golf course yesterday. But according to witnesses, it's a wonder there weren't casualties. Ford, who reportedly suffered a head wound and a broken arm and is listed in "moderate to fair" condition at a Los Angeles hospital, crashed on Venice's Penmar Golf Course, 50 yards from a residential area he may have purposefully avoided, the Telegraph and CNN report. Ford, flying a 1942 Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR, reported an engine failure minutes after departing Santa Monica Airport around 2:20pm. Ford requested an immediate return, and the Guardian reports the actor was cleared to land. But "he risked life and limb by putting it down on the golf course instead of trying to go further to try to get back to the airport," a witness tells NBC News.

"Another 25 to 30 yards and ... I don't want to think about it. He saved several lives." (This map shows how close the crash site is to the airport, as well as the homes in between.) Indeed, a rep for the Santa Monica Airport Association calls Ford's landing "an absolutely beautifully executed ... forced or emergency landing, by an unbelievably well-trained pilot." The Telegraph notes Ford, who was "alert, talking, and breathing" when crews arrived, has faced scary moments in aircraft before. He made an emergency landing in Nebraska in 2000 and crashed a helicopter during a training flight a year earlier. Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca alongside Ford's Han Solo in Star Wars tweeted yesterday, "Here's hoping my buddy comes away with just another scar to match his crooked smile. Speedy Recovery Harrison!" (Radar runs down the 10 most famous celebrity plane crashes.)
 

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