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Harrison Ford investigated after plane near miss at airport

Harrison Ford is being investigated by US aviation regulators after his plane wrongly crossed a runway as another aircraft was taking off. 

It is the latest piloting close-call for the 77-year-old Star Wars and Indiana Jones actor.

The incident took place at the small Hawthorne Airport in Los Angeles on Friday with Ford at the controls of his yellow two-seater Aviat Husky plane.

In a statement to Sky News, his spokeswoman said: “Mr Ford crossed the airport’s only runway in his aircraft after he misheard a radio instruction from air traffic control. He immediately acknowledged the mistake and apologised to ATC for the error.

“The purpose of the flight was to maintain currency and proficiency in the aircraft. No-one was injured and there was never any danger of a collision.”

The Federal Aviation Administration has confirmed it is investigating the incident. It said another aircraft was performing a ‘touch-and-go’ landing on the runway at the time of the incident. The two aircraft were 3,600ft apart.

A recording of the communications obtained by LiveATC.net reveals the air traffic controller telling Ford: “Get across that runway now. I told you to hold short. You need to listen up.”

The actor responds: “Excuse me, sir, I thought exactly the opposite. I’m terribly sorry.”

Ford has a long and generally good record as a fixed-wing and helicopter pilot. He has provided emergency air rescue services near his home in Wyoming and once took part in an operation to save a hiker.

But three years ago, he landed the same Aviat Husky on a taxiway at John Wayne Airport in Orange County in California, passing over a passenger jet with 116 people on board. An FAA investigation found no action was warranted and Ford retained his pilot’s licence.

In 2015 he made an emergency landing on a golf course near Santa Monica after reporting engine failure in the World War Two Ryan PT-22 he was flying. He suffered a broken pelvis and broken ankle in the crash.

He was also involved in the crash of a helicopter in Santa Clarita in California in October 1999 but was unhurt.

Of his love of aviation, he has said: “I love the people in aviation, the people that I meet in aviation. I love seeing the world from an airplane. I’m in love with flying.”

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