The longtime pilot has been the subject of headlines because of two recent flying incidents. The first occurred in March 2015, when Ford’s plane lost all power shortly after he took off from Santa Monica Airport, in Southern California. This led to a crash landing at a nearby golf course that left Ford with a head laceration, fractured pelvis, and shattered vertebra. The investigation into this crash absolved him of any blame — it was a faulty carburetor, nearly impossible to detect in routine maintenance.
This year, he had another aviation misadventure: He landed his plane on the wrong runway. Ford was attempting to land at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif., when he landed his plane not on a runway, as intended, but on an adjacent taxiway.
Ford told GQ, “I f***ed up,” but he also wanted to clarify the circumstances of the incorrect landing. He said, “It’s thoroughly embarrassing, [but] I didn’t fly over him, and it wasn’t a near miss.” Ford continued, “Officially, I admitted to two of the common mental processes that can lead a pilot to making a mistake — distraction and fixation.” Ford had just come from visiting his 101-year-old aunt, who’d just been put into hospice care.
When Ford was told over the radio about his landing mistake, he immediately knew what would follow. He explained, “I thought that I would suffer the consequences. … I knew I f***ed up. I knew what process I would have to go through. I even knew it would be in the newspapers. I didn’t know it would be for weeks.”
Luckily the recent aviation mishaps haven’t stopped Ford from flying; as GQ noted, he flew from Los Angeles to Boston for the interview.
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