Harrison Ford won’t be facing a fine for his involvement in the February 13 incident in which the single-engine airplane he was piloting nearly collided with a 737 at John Wayne Airport in Orange County when he mistakenly landed his plane on a taxiway instead of a runway.
ET has confirmed that Ford “will not be fined or punished for landing his plane on the wrong runway of John Wayne Airport in Orange County on Feb. 13,” and Ford’s lawyer, Stephen Hofer, tells ET the FAA contacted Mr. Ford and advised him that they were closing the inquiry about the investigation.
“They conducted a full investigation into the matter,” Hofer tells ET. “They interviewed Mr. Ford, they looked at all of the audio and video and computer evidence regarding the landing. After reviewing all of that they determined that no administrative or enforcement action was warranted. He retains his pilot certificate without any restrictions.”
Understandably, Ford is pleased with the FAA’s decision. “He has been advised and is very happy about it,” Hoffer added.
Although the Federal Aviation Administration does not comment on the cases of individual pilots, the FAA did release a statement about Ford: “The FAA has completed its investigation of the incident in which a pilot landed on a taxiway at John Wayne Airport on February 13,” reports NBC News. “The FAA does not comment on cases involving individual airmen. You can file a FOIA request for any letters we issued in connection with this case.”
According to an earlier NBC News report, Ford, 74, was attempting to land his single engine Husky on a runway at the airport, but inadvertently flew over an American Airlines 737 that was carrying 110 passengers and a six-person crew.
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The passenger plane involved in the incident with Ford’s private jet managed to depart safely minutes after the incident. “Was that airliner meant to be underneath me?” the actor was caught saying on an air traffic control recording. To which he was informed that he had landed on a taxiway, not the runway.
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According to the FAA, Ford was given the proper landing instructions and read them back. As a result of the serious mishap, the FAA launched its investigation, which has now been closed.
At the time, FAA gave the following statement to Variety: “Air traffic controllers cleared the pilot of a single-engine Aviat Husky to land on Runway 20L at John Wayne Airport Monday afternoon. The pilot correctly read back the clearance. The pilot then landed on a taxiway that runs parallel to the runway, overflying a Boeing 737 that was holding short of the runway. The FAA is investigating this incident.”
This was not Ford’s first aircraft-related accident. In 2015, he crashed-landed a World War II airplane on a Santa Monica golf course after the engine failed. He escaped with a broken arm and minor head injury. A witness told NBC News at the time that Ford had “saved several lives” by rerouting his plane away from a tract of suburban homes before he hit Penmar Golf Course.
The actor has been flying planes for almost 50 years and is known for collecting vintage aircraft.