A preliminary federal report on Harrison Ford’s plane crash last week in Santa Monica confirms that the actor’s World War II-era plane lost power, forcing him to try to land the aircraft.
The preliminary report, released by the National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday, says the Ryan PT-22 Recruit “sustained substantial damage following a loss of engine power and subsequent forced landing” after taking off from Santa Monica airport Thursday.
Shortly after takeoff, Ford “advised of an engine failure and requested an immediate return to the airport,” the report states. Ford turned the aircraft left to try to make it back to the airport but could only glide to Venice’s Penmar Golf Course about 800 feet southwest of the airport runway.
The plane’s wing hit a tree as it glided in and crashed, the report states.
“It felt like an earthquake,” said Sanjay Khurana, who was playing golf on the course at the time of the crash. The spinal surgeon was among the first to rush to Ford’s plane and pull the experienced pilot from the wreckage.
Ford was stunned and his face and body were covered in blood, Khurana said. After a few moments Ford came to.
Investigators will be examining the 1942 vintage plane, its engine, flight controls and records. It could take as long as a year for the final accident report.
According to Santa Monica flight instructor Jeff Martin, Ford had few options and made the right choice when he picked the golf course, which pilots know can be used for emergencies especially during takeoffs, when the vast majority of engine failures occur.