Harrison Ford's Turbulent History of Flying

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Elizabeth Durand Streisand
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On Thursday, Harrison Ford crashed his World War II-era Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR at the Penmar Golf Course near the Santa Monica Municipal Airport. Though his publicist admitted that the star was "banged-up" and still hospitalized receiving medical treatment, she was made sure to note that he is "expected to make a full recovery." But this is hardly the first time the icon (who recently suffered a broken leg due to an accident with the Millennium Falcon on the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens) ran into trouble in the skies. In fact, it marks the third major crash for the 72-year-old flying enthusiast.

Ford's first major accident occurred in 1999 in Santa Clarita, California. The star was practicing auto-rotations during a routine training flight in a Bell 206 helicopter when he crash-landed. Ford and his flying instructor both walked away from the accident unharmed, but the chopper was badly damaged.

You might expect that this experience would cause the star to put his pilot's license on ice, at least for a while. That didn't seem to be the case, however, and just one year later, he ran into serious trouble yet again.

A Beechcraft Bonanza, like what Harrison Ford flew in 2000 (Beechcraft.com)
A Beechcraft Bonanza, like what Harrison Ford flew in 2000 (Beechcraft.com)

In 2000, Ford was forced to crash-land his six-person Beechcraft Bonanza (which was carrying the pilot plus one other passenger) in Lincoln, Nebraska, after passing into windy conditions.

But even that accident didn't dissuade the star from continuing to take to the skies, and in 2002, he explained both crashes away in a seemingly casual tone.

"They were more misadventures of a mechanical or weather-induced type," Ford told Playboy. "With my first helicopter, I had an issue with fuel control once, which resulted in substantial damage to the helicopter prop but no injuries to the two souls aboard. So that ended well."

The actor, who has estimated that he's flown an average of 225 to 250 hours per year, went on to explain that he was drawn to not only the "combination of freedom and responsibility" flying gave him, but also the anonymity. Speaking of his time in the clouds, he explained, "I'm not Harrison Ford. I'm November 1128 Sierra." (It might be worth noting, however, that his anonymity sort of goes out the proverbial window each time he crash-lands.)

Harrison Ford's March 5, 2015, plane crash (Getty Images)
Harrison Ford's March 5, 2015, plane crash (Getty Images)

Though it appears he escaped this latest crash relatively unscathed, it's hard not to wonder if this will finally be enough for the veteran thesp to reconsider his hobby. If history tells us anything, though, it probably won't.

"I didn't fly planes until my 50s, because I didn't trust myself. I never flew until I trusted my judgment," he mused back in 2002 before quickly adding, "I trust myself now."

Well, Harrison, we're not sure we do. You gave us quite a scare!