Search

NTSB Investigator: Harrison Ford 'Lucky' To Have Survived Plane Crash


NTSB Investigator Patrick Jones held a press conference Thursday night regarding Harrison Ford's plane crash.

Although he at no point named Ford as the pilot of the plane that crash landed on a Venice, Calif., golf course, he did say, "We believe that he is going to survive."

Jones called Ford "lucky" to have survived the crash.

"A pilot [and] any… human being [who survives] an accident is a lucky individual, but having said that, there are over 2,000 accidents a year nationwide that involve varying levels of injuries [from] none to fatalities," he said. "It is unusual, actually, for pilots to lose their lives because aviation is a pretty safe operation." The investigator also praised Ford's experience in the air.

"Flying an aircraft, whether it's this aircraft or a helicopter or whatever, it all takes experience," he said. "This pilot is an experienced pilot."

Jones said he had listened to the Air Traffic Control Tapes and he explained the type of plane involved and the events surrounding the crash.

"There was a Ryan aircraft, a vintage aircraft that was taking off from Santa Monica," he said during the conference. "The pilot reported a loss of engine power and was attempting to return to the runway. It appears that he clipped the top of a tree and came to rest on the golf course."

The investigator was unsure where Ford was intending to fly the plane before making the distress call that he was returning to the runway due to loss of engine power.

Per Jones, the crash investigation may take up to a year before it is complete.

"At this the time, the NTSB has started an investigation with the FAA in attendance and our goal is to tonight do some on scene documentation. We will ultimately recover the aircraft tomorrow to a local facility and continue the investigation," he said. "Our process is kind of a slow process and I'm sure that there's going to be some questions about what caused this and..if we've solved it. At this point in time, it is the very beginning of an investigation. It takes us a long time because we want to get it right."

He added, "The investigation normally takes a couple of months and normally a final report we try to get done within a year."

The investigator said this vintage plane did not contain a black box, so the will have to "go back to the basics" to conduct an investigation on this incident.

"No, it does not have a black box. This is an old, vintage aircraft. There are many aircrafts that do not have what you refer to as a black box, nor are they required to have a black box," he said. "The problem is that we've investigated accidents for decades and it's only been in last few decades that black boxes actually exist. So, we go back to the basics. The initial report was a loss of engine power. We are going to look at that, but we are going [to look] at everything – weather, man [and] the machine."

Ford's son, Ben Ford, Tweeted that he was with his father at the hospital, where the 72-year-old actor is being treated for injuries sustained in the crash.

#planecrash #ntsbinvestigatorpatrickjones #harrisonford