Plane Crash Involving Actor Harrison Ford

Actor Harrison Ford, who played either a pilot or former pilot in films such as "Air Force One," "Star Wars," and "Six Days, Seven Nights" is a real life pilot who has survived at least one serious accident. On 23 October 1999, Ford was on a training flight in a Bell 206 helicopter when he and the instructor made an emergency landing in a dry riverbed near Santa Clarita, CA. Although the helicopter rolled over on its left side, neither Ford or the instructor were injured. The following description is based on the NTSB accident synopsis.

NTSB Identification: LAX00LA024
Operator: AG Aviation
Date: 23 October 1999
Location: near Santa Clarita, CA
Aircraft: Bell 206-L4, registration: N36R

On October 23, 1999, at 1115 hours Pacific daylight time, a Bell 206-L4, N36R, landed hard and rolled over in the Lake Piru riverbed near Santa Clarita, California. The helicopter, operated by AG Aviation, Teterboro, New Jersey, was substantially damaged. The local training flight conducted under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 originated from the Van Nuys Airport about 1030. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The flight instructor reported that he and the pilot trainee (Ford) were practicing autorotations to a power recovery in the dry riverbed. He stated that they had performed one practice autorotation with no problems.

On the second attempt, the pilot trainee flared about 150 to 200 feet AGL. He attempted to bring in power to initiate the power recovery, but reported that the power did not come back in time to recover to a hovering position. The helicopter landed hard and slid forward in the loose sand. The left skid contacted a log that was embedded in the sand and the helicopter rolled over onto its left side. Neither the private pilot/owner nor the commercial rated flight instructor were injured.

The NTSB concluded that the pilot delayed in adding power during a power-on recovery from an autorotation, which resulted in a hard landing and rollover.

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Plane Crash Involving Actor Harrison Ford -- Revised: 16 November 2007