Actor/pilot Harrison Ford, who famously crash-landed his small plane on a Santa Monica-area golf course in 2015, is under investigation for mistakenly landing on a taxiway instead of a runway at John Wayne Airport on Monday, according to NBC News.
The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed to USA TODAY Tuesday that it is investigating an "incident' Monday at the Orange County airport, but would not confirm it involved Ford, 74, a longtime flying enthusiast.
FAA policy forbids identifying people involved in aircraft incidents or accidents.
Ian Gregor, the public affairs manager for the FAA's western division, said he only has "preliminary information" on the incident.
"Air traffic controllers cleared the pilot of a single-engine Aviat Husky to land on Runway 20L at John Wayne Airport Monday afternoon," Gregor said in an email to USA TODAY. "The pilot correctly read back the clearance. The pilot then landed on a taxiway that runs parallel to the runway, overflying a Boeing 737 that was holding short of the runway. The FAA is investigating this incident."
An Aviat Husky is a single-engine two-seat, high-wing light aircraft.
There was no collision, no one was hurt and the American Airlines 737 departed safely for Dallas a few minutes later. But NBC reported that Ford was heard on air traffic control recordings asking, "Was that airliner meant to be underneath me?"
Air traffic controllers then informed Ford that he had landed on a taxiway rather than the runway, NBC reported.
Landing on a taxiway instead of a runway as instructed, is a safety no-no under FAA rules. After an investigation, Ford could receive a warning letter or evenhave his pilot's license suspended.
Ford was severely injured in March 2015 when he crash-landed his vintage single-engine airplane on a golf course after taking off from Santa Monica Airport. Months later, the National Transportation Safety Board reported the crash wasn't his fault: A problem with a carburetor part led to engine failure and the crash. Ford was praised for making an emergency landing without hurting anyone else.
"Harrison was flying a WW2 vintage plane today which had engine trouble upon take off. He had no other choice but to make an emergency landing, which he did safely,'' Ford's publicist Ina Treciokas said in an emailed statement at the time.
On Tuesday, Treciokas declined to comment to USA TODAY on the John Wayne incident
Inducted as a Living Legend of Aviation, Ford has endured through several other aircraft mishaps. In 1999, he crash-landed a helicopter in a dry river bed in 1999 during a flight lesson in Ventura County, Calif. And in 2000, a gust of wind sent his six-seater Beechcraft Bonanza off a runway in Lincoln, Neb.
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