Plane crash injures Harrison Ford in Los Angeles, USA
The plane crashed just short of the Santa Monica Municipal Airport
US actor Harrison Ford has been injured in a small plane crash in Los Angeles.
The 72-year-old star of the Indiana Jones and Star Wars films reported engine failure and crash-landed his vintage plane on a Venice golf course.
He was breathing and alert when medics arrived and took him to hospital in a “fair to moderate” condition, a fire department spokesman said.
His son Ben, a chef in Los Angeles, later tweeted from the hospital: “Dad is OK. Battered but OK!
His publicist said: “The injuries sustained are not life threatening, and he is expected to make a full recovery,”
The nature of Ford’s injuries have not been disclosed but website TMZ, which first reported the story, said he suffered “multiple gashes to his head”.
Shortly after take-off from Santa Monica Airport, he said he was having engine failure with his 1942 Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR and was making an “immediate return”.
He was unable to reach the runway and landed on the golf course, where onlookers pulled him from the plane fearing it could explode.
Officials said the plane had been flying at about 3,000 feet (914 metres) and hit a tree on the way down.
“There was no explosion or anything. It just sounded like a car hitting the ground or a tree or something. Like that one little bang, and that was it,” Jeff Kuprycz, who was playing golf told the Associated Press news agency.
“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”.
Film producer Ryan Kavanaugh witnessed the accident from his office near the airport where Harrison had taken off.
He told The Hollywood Reporter: “He literally had five seconds, and 99 per cent of pilots would have turned around to go back to the runway and would have crashed – it would have stalled, gone nose first and crashed.”
“Harrison did what the best pilots in the world would do,” he continued. “He made the correct turn that the plane was designed for with an engine out.”
After crash-landing, Ford was initially treated by two doctors who happened to be at the golf course.
Fire Department spokesman Patrick Butler said the LAFD received a 911 emergency call at 14:20 (22:20 GMT) and attended to a “medium-to-high impact” plane crash at the Penmar Golf Course.
There have been calls from local people to close Santa Monica airport, which is situated in a residential district, because of concerns about safety and noise.
Later this year, Ford is reprising his role of Han Solo in the latest addition to the Star Wars franchise, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
He broke his leg in June last year on set at Pinewood Studios while filming a scene involving a door on the Millennium Falcon spaceship.
Ford took up flying when he was in his 50s and is also trained to fly helicopters.
In 1999, Ford crash-landed his helicopter during a training flight in Los Angeles but both he and the instructor were unhurt.
A year later a plane he was flying had to make an emergency landing at Lincoln Municipal Airport in Nebraska. Again he and his passenger escaped unhurt after the plane clipped the runway.
Courtesy of The BBC