Harrison Ford, hurt in plane crash, had earlier aviation misadventures

Harrison Ford has never been afraid of taking risks off-set.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Harrison Ford was still recovering from a broken leg when he was in a plane crash on Thursday.

While filming “Star Wars: Episode VII” in June, Ford’s left leg was broken in an accident involving the door of the famed Millennium Falcon spaceship. The injury required him to have surgery and go through rehab, causing a two-week hiatus in filming during August.

The J.J. Abrams-directed film, in which Ford is reprising his role as Han Solo, wrapped filming last fall and is set for release this December.

On screen, the actor has often starred in stunt-heavy adventure films -- the “Indiana Jones” franchise, “Blade Runner,” “Air Force One.” When he played a pilot in “Six Days, Seven Nights,” he even flew as part of the role after meeting requirements set out by the film’s insurance company and the Federal Aviation Administration.

But he’s never been afraid of taking risks off-set, either. He’s long held a passion for both motorcycles and airplanes, telling Playboy in 2002 that he loved the “combination of freedom and responsibility” flying gave him.


“It’s anonymity,” he said. “I’m not Harrison Ford, I’m November 1128 Sierra.”

He told the magazine he flew between 225 and 250 hours per year. However, he has suffered accidents before. In 1999, he crash-landed his Bell 206 helicopter while practicing auto-rotations in California but was not hurt. A year later, his six-passenger Beechcraft Bonanza was forced to make an emergency landing after passing into windy weather.

“They were more misadventures of a mechanical or weather-induced type,” Ford told Playboy of the incidents. “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 told Playboy that he had nine sport-touring bikes, though he didn’t ride one until he was 45.

“My heart won’t allow me to go that fast, but I go too fast most of the time,” he said. “I didn’t fly planes until my 50s, because I didn’t trust myself. I never flew until I trusted my judgment. I trust myself now.”

Follow @AmyKinLA for Hollywood news and celebrity profiles