SANTA ANA, Calif. (CBS NEWS) – Actor Harrison Ford was piloting a small plane that flew over a 737 passenger plane with 116 people aboard at a Southern California airport on Monday, an FAA source confirmed to CBS News.

According to the FAA, air traffic controllers cleared the pilot of a single-engine Aviat Husky plane – believed to be piloted by Ford – to land Tuesday on a runway at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif. The pilot correctly read back the clearance to land on the runway, the FAA said.

However, rather than landing on the designated runway, the pilot landed on a taxiway that runs parallel to the runway, flying over a Boeing 737 that was holding in place short of the runway. The FAA does not know how close the two planes came.

Ford reportedly asked air traffic controllers “was that airliner meant to be underneath me?”

The FAA, which does not identify people involved in accidents, said they are investigating. An FAA source said the incident is believed to purely accidental.

American Airlines says it does want the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board to investigate, reports CBS News’ transportation correspondent Kris Van Cleave. Depending on the outcome of the FAA investigation, Ford could receive disciplinary action ranging from a warning letter to a suspension or revocation of his pilot’s license.

The AA 737 was not moving awaiting for cross traffic to clear. There were 110 passengers and six crew members on board.

“This is extraordinarily dangerous,” former NTSB chair Mark Rosenker told CBS News. “Striking a commercial aircraft that was full of gasoline with 100 and some people on it would have created a real disaster.”

Rosenker says an experienced pilot should be able to know the difference between a taxiway and a runway, but it is not the first time this kind of mistake as been made.

A representative for Ford reached by CBS News refused to comment.


© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Comments (4)

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Watch & Listen LIVE