Actor Harrison Ford, 72 was the pilot of a vintage plane that crashed on a golf course in L.A today.
He was the only person on board. There were no reports of other casualties. He was seen being taken by stretcher to hospital.
It’s unclear if the plane was taking off or landing at Santa Monica Municipal Airport, which is located about two blocks from the golf course.
Fire officials would not identify the victim of the crash but said he was conscious and breathing when paramedics arrived. TV chopper footage showed Ford on a stretcher being taken into an ambulance on the golf course. It was unclear what hospital he was being taken to.
The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.
Safety has been an issue at the airport for years. In 2013, four died in a fiery wreck at the airport when the twin-engine Cessna Citation they were riding in touched down on the runway then veered hard right and smashed into an airport hangar, bursting into flames and collapsing the building.
Some residents have long pressed to close the airport, saying it poses a safety risk. Pilots and others in the aviation community dispute that and say the airport is perfectly safe.
Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Cruise and casino mogul Steve Wynn have been among the celebrities and business tycoons who have kept planes there.
In 2013, as Santa Monica debated the airport’s future, Ford, other airport tenants and national aviation groups filed a federal complaint challenging any move to close it.
There have been at least 11 crashes involving planes coming and going from Santa Monica since 1989, according to federal records. Six were confined to airport grounds, two struck homes, two came down in the ocean and one crashed on a golf course. The airport had about 7,300 takeoffs and landings in August, the most recent month for which data was available.
Santa Monica Airport, established in 1917, is described on a city website as the oldest continuously operating airport in Los Angeles County. After Santa Monica acquired the original 170 acres in 1926, the property became the home of Douglas Aircraft Co., whose DC-3 would introduce average Americans to commercial air travel in the 1930s. At its peak, the company had 44,000 employees, and both Los Angeles and Santa Monica encouraged the building of housing right up to the airport’s perimeter.
Before the United States entered World War II, the federal government leased most of the airport from the city to provide security for Douglas, a major defense contractor. After the war, the federal government returned the improved and expanded property to the city under the “instrument of transfer.”
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