(AP Photo/Rob Griffith, File)

"I'm the schmuck that landed on the taxiway": Listen to Harrison Ford tell air traffic control about his landing mishap

It seems Han Solo still has a thing or two to learn about flying


Katie Serena
March 27, 2017 8:00PM (UTC)

Maybe he should stick to the Millennium Falcon.

After almost landing on top of a passenger jet at a Southern California airport, Harrison Ford owned up to his mistake in a way only he could. In the audio of the incident, Ford can be heard calling himself "a schmuck."

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The actor was flying into John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif., last month, when instead of landing on the runway, he put the plane down on a taxiway, just missing a full 116-passenger jet that was preparing to take off.

Ford seemed to realize his mistake instantly.

"Yeah, hi, it's husky eight-niner hotel uniform," the actor said, referring to his call sign. "I'm the schmuck that landed on the taxiway."

The air traffic controller responded calmly that it was "no big deal," to which Ford laughed and said "It's a big deal for me."

"I was distracted by the airliner that was in movement when I turned to the runway," he explained to the controller. "And also the big turbulence from the landing Airbus on the parallel."

The runway and the taxiway are parallel to each other at John Wayne Airport.

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Despite being an experienced pilot with an extensive private aircraft collection, this wasn't Ford's first aviation-related incident.

In 1999, Ford made a risky emergency landing in a helicopter he was piloting with a flight instructor, and ended up in a California riverbed. In 2009, he skidded off of a runway in Lincoln, Nebraska after a hard landing. He had another hard landing, and sustained some serious injuries, in 2015 after clipping a treetop and nearly crashing on a Santa Monica golf course.

After the golf course incident Tom Haines, of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, defended Ford calling him "a very skilled pilot."

"He's very safety-conscious and goes to training routinely for all of his aircraft," he said.

It would seem that the National Aeronautic Association would agree, as in in 2010 they awarded Ford the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, one of the highest awards the association hands out.

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Katie Serena

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