VENICE (CBSLA.com) — Actor Harrison Ford crashed a small, two-seat airplane on a Venice golf course just west of Santa Monica Airport, authorities said.
The small, World War II-era plane identified by the NTSB as a Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR crashed about 2:24 p.m. at Penmar Golf Course, 1233 Rose Ave., not far from the Santa Monica airport, according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott.
The pilot, identified later at Ford, was only one person on the plane, and he was taken to a hospital, where he is now listed in fair to moderate condition, Scott said.
No one was injured on the ground.
Ford, 72, best known for his roles in “Star Wars” and as Indiana Jones, is a longtime aviation enthusiast.
Los Angeles police and fire officials declined to identify the patient, saying only it was a man in his 70s who was conscious and alert when he was tended by paramedics at the scene. LAFD Assistant Chief Patrick Butler said the pilot was outside the plane when crews arrived.
Eli Karon, a Beverly Hills real estate broker, said he raced to the golf course after hearing the the commotion.
“I did not see the actual plane crash, but heard the engine cut out and saw a big cloud of dust from up the hills,” Karon said.
The vintage aircraft appeared to be right-side up and largely intact after leaving gouges on the golf course fairway. The plane had just taken off and was returning to the airport after experiencing engine failure. Fire officials noted that the plane appeared to have struck a tree, since some branches had been knocked onto the golf course.
Ford owns several aircraft and has been active with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. He is also heavily involved with the Experimental Aircraft Association. Known for piloting fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, he crashed a helicopter in the Santa Clarita area during a training flight in 1999.
Sanjay Khurana. a spine surgeon, was completing the seventh hole on the golf course when the plane came down.
He told CBS2 that he saw the plane clip a pine tree, then come down suddenly.
Khurana said he dropped his clubs and ran to the plane to render aid.
He said Ford was slumped over, bleeding profusely and moaning. The doctor also said Ford had a very large scalp laceration but was able to speak and move.
Ford’s son, well-known chef Ben Ford, tweeted that “Dad is ok. Battered, but ok! He is every bit the man you think he is. He is an incredibly strong man.”
Moments later, Ben tweeted, “Thank you all for your thoughts and good vibes for my dad.”
NTSB officials are investigating.
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