SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — Actor Harrison Ford sounds apologetic and upset with himself for mistakenly landing on a John Wayne Airport taxiway, just after flying over an arriving American Airlines, in new audio released Friday.
The Feb. 13 incident was initially referred to as a “possible pilot deviation,” according to one of the recordings from the FAA.
The 74-year-old “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” star flew his single-engine Aviat Husky low over American Airlines Flight 1456, casting its shadow down the middle of the bigger plane, before landing on the taxiway. Ford had been cleared to land on another runway that runs parallel to the taxiway.
“I’m the schmuck that landed on the taxiway,” Ford said when he called in to the John Wayne Airport tower. The actor mentioned he had become distracted by the airliner and the wake turbulence from the landing Airbus.
“The tail of my airplane is 42 feet tall,” Patton said to Willard. “You get an idea of how close we were.”
“It was definitely not a good position for him to be in,” Willard says in the audio.
Patton said he overheard the air traffic controller talking to a Husky and that he thought he was looking forward to seeing the aircraft because many don’t come to John Wayne Airport.
Willard commended Patton for remaining aware of the chatter between the tower and other aircraft.
Ford collects vintage planes and has been a pilot for years. But he has had several close calls and was seriously injured in March 2015 when his World War II-era trainer crashed on a golf course alongside Santa Monica Airport.