According to multiple reports — and people playing golf at the time — Harrison Ford was injured in a plane crash on Thursday. Witnesses said Ford walked away from the scene, and his publicist noted that he is expected to make a full recovery.
The 72-year-old blockbuster film star was flying a vintage two-seat military plane when he crash landed onto the eighth hole of the Penmar Golf Course in Venice, Calif. Los Angeles news station KTLA reported Ford took off from Santa Monica Municipal Airport and that mechanical problems forced the actor to bring the plane down unexpectedly.
Following the crash, Ford was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries. Ford, set to appear in December’s much-anticipated “Star Wars: Episode VII,” has been in aviation incidents before — in Nebraska in 2000. He also previously crash-landed a helicopter he piloted in Los Angeles.
National Football League broadcaster and media personality Andrew Siciliano was at the course and witnessed the crash. He took photos just minutes after it nosedived on the eighth green and tweeted this, without knowing Ford was inside:
That is a definitely a plane in front of the 8th green at Penmar in Venice. Pilot allegedly walked away. Wow. pic.twitter.com/2OXYJOdBu1
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) March 5, 2015
The “Star Wars,” “Indiana Jones” and “The Fugitive” headliner, who is still being treated in the hospital today, reports ABC News, is lucky to be alive. Through the years, many well-know individuals have been injured or died in similar crashes, including musicians Stevie Ray Vaughan (1990), Jim Croce (1973), Ricky Nelson (1985), John Denver (1997) and Aaliyah (2001). But perhaps the two most widely remembered to perish in plane crashes are John F. Kennedy Jr. in 1999 and Buddy Holly, who was killed in a 1959 crash with fellow musicians Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson.
It’s no doubt these deaths make news because they were well-known people in a high-visibility world — there are surely many aviation accidents that go unnoticed — but what is up with famous people dying in plane crashes? Why are celebs and small planes such a dangerous mix?
I feel badly for anyone who is injured, or heaven forbid, dies in a tragedy. But come on, rich and/or famous people, stop taking the risk, you all have way too much to live for. Get with the Hugh Hefner syndrome, and try to live as long as possible.
Instead of flying yourself, as Ford did, charter a private jet to take you wherever you want to go, just don’t fly it yourself.
If you like to fly that’s cool, do you — but wouldn’t a person like Ford want to stay alive as long as possible to enjoy being Harrison Ford for as long as possible? Big stars and rich guys or those beloved by millions taking their lives into their own hands makes no sense to me.
Ford, after all, was Indiana Jones, Han Solo and Dr. Richard Kimball, three of the most-bad ass movie character heroes of all-time. He also played too-cool-for-school hot-rod racer Bob Falfa in “American Graffiti,” the only guy in The Valley with stones enough to challenge the king of the racing-strip, John Milner (played by Paul Le Mat). After playing these guys, there’s really no way Ford could get any cooler; flying his own plane just seems like tempting fate.
For Hefner and others with his namesake syndrome who clearly have every reason to want to live for as long as possible, maybe the saddest thing is that they will one day succumb, like the rest of us, to the undefeated fate of death. But until then, they should try to enjoy being able to wake up and see the Pacific Ocean from their Malibu mansions. One would think that high-profile and historic crashes going back to “The Day the Music Died” in 1959 would discourage air travel or in tiny planes at least.
During his career, Ford certainly cashed in with major blockbusters, and even if the next “Star Wars” sucks as much as the most-recent prequels (except for the second half of “Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” when Obi Wan cut off Anakin Skywalker’s legs, beginning Anakin’s dark transformation to Darth Vader), it’s sure to make lots of money. Plus, it’s his return to the franchise, and that’s reason enough to stay alive for as long as possible.
One might think JFK Jr. perishing might have hammered the point home that professionals should do most of the flying and the famous should just chill while in the air. Why do any of the work, especially if it’s possible to result in serious injury or even worse, death? Is flying commercial or, dare I say, first class really that terrible that taking the chance of piloting yourself is worth it?
So take this advice, please: If you are rich, famous or both, just don’t fly yourself — let the professionals do the work and sit back, drink some champagne, kick off your shoes and collect the interest from your back accounts or royalties.
Noah Zuss is a reporter for TheBlot Magazine.