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FAA to investigate pilot Harrison Ford after close call on runway

The actor landed on a taxiway, rather than a runway, narrowly missing an American Airlines jetliner.

By Stephen Feller
FAA to investigate pilot Harrison Ford after close call on runway
A plane piloted by actor Harrison Ford narrowly missed an American Airlines jetliner while landing Monday afternoon at an airport in California. While nobody was hurt, the FAA is investigating why Ford landed on a taxiway after being instructed by air traffic control totouch down on a nearby runway. File Photo by Paul Treadway/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A plane piloted by Harrison Ford narrowly missed a commercial airliner while landing Monday afternoon in California in what Federal Aviation Administration officials say could have been a serious accident endangering hundreds of lives.

Ford was landing his single-engine Husky at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif., on a runway, but instead accidentally aimed at a taxiway, passing over an American Airlines 737 before touching down safely. The FAA is investigating the situation, though it is believed to have been a misunderstanding.

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"This is extraordinarily dangerous," Mark Rosenker, former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Boad, told CBS News. "Striking a commercial aircraft that was full of gasoline with 100 and some people on it would have created a real disaster."

Ford was approaching the airport and told to land on runway 20-L. He instead passed over American Airlines flight 1546 and landed on a nearby taxiway. Officials said they were unsure how close the two aircraft actually were, but all 110 passengers and six crew members of the airliner were safe.

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FAA officials said that while Ford repeated the landing instructions back to them correctly, he aimed at the taxiway instead. Landing on a taxiway instead of a runway is a violation of FAA safety rules, and the incident will be investigated, officials said.

If found to be at fault, Ford could receive anything from a warning letter to suspension or the revoking of his license.

While Ford is an accomplished and respected pilot, he has also had a few crashes over the years, including one near the Santa Monica Municipal Airport after experiencing engine failure in 2015, a crash during a training flight in 1999 and another crash in Nebraska in 2000.

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