Harrison Ford Escapes Helicopter Crash

Action hero unhurt after chopper goes down during lessons

By Emily Farache Oct 25, 1999 3:30 PMTags
Harrison Ford, who has overcome airborne near-misses in Air Force One, Star Wars, Six Days, Seven Nights, and the Indiana Jones and Jack Ryan movie series, survived a real-life flight cliffhanger when his helicopter went down during a training run this weekend.

The 57-year-old action hero and his flight instructor were practicing auto rotations--an emergency procedure used to land a chopper without use of power--in the actor's Bell 206 JetRanger helicopter Saturday morning near Lake Piru, California, when things got hairy.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson, Ford's chopper crashed into a dry riverbed some 45 miles north of Los Angeles, sustaining heavy damage.

Neither the actor nor his instructor was injured in the crash; they both stepped out of the helicopter, the FAA representative said. It was not immediately known whether Ford was at the controls when the copter went down.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

No comment yet from Ford's camp.

In any case, Ford, who is licensed to pilot airplanes and helicopters, will now have to make do with one of the four planes remaining in his mini air force.

Coincidentally, Ford's latest box-office foray, Random Hearts, is about, yes, a plane crash.