- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 5, 2015

Actor Harrison Ford suffered a bloody head wound when a World War II-era training plane he was flying crashed onto a California golf course Thursday afternoon.

NBC News reported that while the 72-year-old actor was obviously hurt, he was “conscious and breathing” when first responders arrived and they were able to stabilize him.

And according to eyewitnesses and aviators, Mr. Ford’s skill as a pilot may have saved both his life and that of people on the ground.

“We are very thankful that the passenger had [only] very moderate injuries,” Los Angeles Assistant Fire Chief Patrick Butler said, according to NBC.

Mr. Ford was taken to a hospital near Penmar Golf Course, which is just west of Santa Monica Municipal Airport, around 5:25 p.m. EST.

Howard Tabe, an employee at the course, told NBC that he put a blanket under the hip of Mr. Ford, who he said had “blood all over his face.”

But “two very fine doctors were treating him, taking good care of him,” the eyewitness added.

According to The Associated Press, an email from Elaine Polachek, Santa Monica’s interim city manager, told city officials that Mr. Ford told air-traffic controllers that his plane had just suffered engine failure and he’d have to make an emergency landing from 3,000 feet.

The plane, a yellow 1942 Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR, “apparently hit a tree on the way down,” and that Mr. Ford may have suffered a broken leg as well as his head wound, the email said.

Mr. Ford was apparently able to land the plane upright, mostly intact, in an open area — all keys to minimizing casualties.

“I would say that this is an absolutely beautifully executed — what we would call — a forced or emergency landing, by an unbelievably well-trained pilot,” Christian Fry of the Santa Monica Airport Association told reporters.

Jeff Kuprycz, who was at the golf course when the plane crash-landed, said “there was no explosion or anything. It just sounded like a car hitting the ground or a tree or something. Like that one little bang, and that was it.”

Mr. Ford is probably best known for his swashbuckling roles in two of the biggest movie series of all-time — as Han Solo in George Lucas’ original “Star Wars” trilogy and as the titular hero in Stephen Spielberg’s “Indiana Jones” films.

The actor has been injured before in acts of derring-do, both on and off the set. When flying a helicopter in 1999, he was forced into an emergency landing in a riverbed. He also broke a leg while filming the latest “Star Wars” film last year.

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