US Actor Harrison Ford Badly Injured In Plane Crash

The 72-year-old superstar reported engine failure and crash-landed.

He was breathing and alert when medics arrived at the scene.

His son Ben, a chef in Los Angeles, later tweeted from the hospital: "Dad is OK. Battered but OK!"

His publicist Ina Treciokas said: "The injuries sustained are not life threatening, and he is expected to make a full recovery,"

Moments after Ford’s take-off from Santa Monica Airport, in an audio of his conversation with air traffic control, he is heard saying he was having engine failure and he asked for an emergency landing.

Officials said the plane had been flying at about 3,000 feet (914 metres) and hit a tree on the way down.

Christian Fry of the Santa Monica Airport Association said it was "an absolutely beautifully executed emergency landing by an unbelievably well-trained pilot".


Film producer Ryan Kavanaugh witnessed the accident from his office near the airport where Harrison had taken off.

He said: "Harrison literally had five seconds, and 99 per cent of pilots would have turned around to go back to the runway and would have crashed – it would have stalled, gone nose first and crashed."

"Harrison did what the best pilots in the world would do," he continued. "He made the correct turn that the plane was designed for with an engine out."

After crash-landing, Ford was initially treated by two doctors who happened to be at the golf course.

Ford took up flying when he was in his 50s and is also trained to fly helicopters.

In 1999, Ford crash-landed his helicopter during a training flight in Los Angeles but both he and the instructor were unhurt.

A year later a plane he was flying had to make an emergency landing at Lincoln Municipal Airport in Nebraska. Again he and his passenger escaped unhurt after the plane clipped the runway.

By Irene Mbacha