VENICE, California (CNN – March 5, 2015) — Actor Harrison Ford was injured but is OK after crash-landing a small plane on a golf course in California on Thursday, his son tweeted.
“At the hospital. Dad is ok. Battered, but ok! He is every bit the man you would think he is. He is an incredibly strong man,” tweeted Ben Ford.
Los Angeles Fire Department Assistant Chief Patrick Butler, who wouldn’t identify Ford as the patient, said the pilot suffered moderate trauma and was “alert and conscious” when he was taken to the hospital.
He said the pilot, the only person on board, was in fair to moderate condition.
The 72-year-old actor was in a two-seat, single-engine 1942 military trainer that went down on Penmar Golf Course near Santa Monica Airport.
“Something happened that caused him to turn back around to the field. It sounds like he had some (type of) engine failure,” said CNN aviation analyst Miles O’Brien, who has flown out of the airport several times.
The plane hit a tree as it landed, officials said. It landed on its belly with the left wing touching the ground. There is a mark in the ground behind the plane where the aircraft sliced into the grass.
The pilot had just taken off when the plane experienced some kind of problem. He was trying to return to the airport when the crash occurred, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.
Santa Monica Airport is a small facility and is basically in the back yard of a very dense beach community. There have been many complaints about the air traffic. People on the golf course say the planes fly too close.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA said the plane was a Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR. According to FAA registry, the plane is owned by MG Aviation Inc.
It is not the first aviation-related incident for the star of the “Star Wars” and the Indiana Jones film franchises.
In 1999, Ford had to make an emergency landing in a California riverbed while flying a helicopter. MG Aviation also was the owner of that aircraft, according to a Los Angeles Times report.
He missed time during the filming of “Star Wars: Episode VII” last year in Buckinghamshire, England, when he broke one of his legs on the set.
CNN’s Kyung Lah reported from Santa Monica and Steve Almasy reported and wrote in Atlanta. CNN’s Rosalina Nieves and Sam Stringer contributed to this report.