By now, you probably know that Harrison Ford was injured Thursday in a small-plane crash at a Los Angeles-area golf course. USA Today reported Friday morning that the 72-year-old actor is expected to make a full recovery.
The paper’s website has some video from the crash site, with air-traffic-control audio courtesy of LiveATC.net. Watch it here:
USA Today also posted this statement from Ford’s publicist, Ina Treciokas: “"Harrison was flying a WW2 vintage plane today which had engine trouble upon take off. He had no other choice but to make an emergency landing, which he did safely.He was banged up and is in the hospital receiving medical care. The injuries sustained are not life threatening, and he is expected to make a full recovery."
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E! News talked to Steve Safford, Ford’s former flight instructor, about the actor’s flying skills. “"Harrison Ford is a professional pilot in every sense of the term,” Safford said. “He is rated in Turbo Jets and Helicopters and participates in factory simulator emergency training on a regular basis."
Safford, a movie stunt pilot who has been a friend of Ford’s for 35 years, even did a 2002 film about his flying buddy, Harrison Ford: Just Another Pilot. The clip below is somewhat lengthy at nearly 10 minutes, but it explains a lot about Ford’s — and others’ — motivations for flying.
In 2014, when the “Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology” exhibit came to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, we wrote about a 1999 sighting of Ford in Fort Worth.
The actor and a couple of friends unexpectedly popped in for dinner at Angeluna, the restaurant that was then across the street from Bass Hall (it was later Ferre, and now the space is partly taken up by a Cheesecake Factory).
Star-Telegram features reporter Mary Rogers happened to be in Angeluna at the time, and reported later that Ford and his party had a seat on the patio, in full view of the box-tier promenade at Bass Hall, where country duo Brooks and Dunn were in concert that night. A crowd gathered at the big windows to gawk at the Wranglers-clad actor across the street.
“Sisters Gloria and Adelaide Moncrief, along with their Country Day School friend Melissa Flory and J. Brooks, a student at Arlington Heights High, thought Harrison would surely want to see the Brooks & Dunn show,” Rogers reported. The girls were given permission to approach Ford, who politely declined, saying “I’ve got school in the morning.”
Most people interepreted “school” as the flying lessons Ford was taking at the time.
Initial reports from Thursday’s plane crash sounded a little grim, with Ford in critical condition even though he had walked away from the crash. By 8 p.m. Central Time, when some cable networks aired a news conference about the crash, things sounded better.
The reports led Boyd-area resident Peter Mayhew to tweet a couple of things. If you don’t immediately recognize Mayhew’s name, his Twitter handle — @TheWookieeRoars — should be a giveaway: He played Chewbacca alongside Ford’s Han Solo in the Star Wars movies. (H/T to Dallas Observer contributor Eric Grubbs for the heads-up on these tweets.)
And later ...
Finally, another North Texas connection, from a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away: Longtime KXAS/Channel 5 entertainment reporter Bobbie Wygant’s 1977 interview with Ford.