Harrison Ford is a goddamn hero
Seriously, the media makes it seem like he lost control of his aircraft and crashed.
THAT IS NOT IT.
IF HE HAD LOST CONTROL OF THE PLANE, HE WOULD HAVE BEEN DEAD.
THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN SCRAPING HIM OFF OF THE GROUND AND COLLECTING THE PLANE IN 5 GALLON BUCKETS.
LEMME LEARN YOU A THING OF TWELVE.
1. Harrison Ford has been flying since he was 52. The man is a goddamn amazing pilot. He’s been a speaker for several different national aviation organizations, including the AOPA (here he is speaking about back country flying) Aviation experts have been amazed at how well he was able to handle the plane. (here)
2. He can fly both helicopters, biplanes (that’s two wings, people), prop planes, both modern and vintage, as well as work on them.
3. He’s saved 4 different people on three different occasions due to his piloting skills and willingness to volunteer his time, personal aircraft, and money. (google it bitches. to hire a private pilot is about $1000/hr, plus fuel. he volunteered).
4. The plane: Here’s where I loose my shit.
See this plane? This baby is older than Harrison Ford himself. It’s a Corsair XF4U-1 (EDIT: I got this wrong. It’s not a Corsair. It’s a Ryan PT-22), first flown around 1941 for the US Navy & Marines during World War II.
How do I know this? Simple: Look at the insignia on the bottom of the wing. See the blue circle, white star, & red circle? looks like this:
This was required on all US Navy & Marine aircraft flown & operated in the 1920s through the 1940s. (EDIT: Thanks to an anon’s great question, I wanted to make something clearer. The reason I specified “Navy & Marines,” is because the Army Air Corps was also a provider of air defense (or offense. whatever your view on WWII is.) for the USA, however they were dissolved into the newly created Air Force & US Navy in 1946. So, this identification mark had already been in use for around 7 years before the Air Corps creation.) It said “HEY DON’T SHOOT. WE’RE THE US” to friendly fire on the ground. (or also “YO LOOK. WE’RE THE ENEMY” if you were fighting for the other guys…so it worked both ways) but I digress…
The point is, this plane is incredibly rare, incredibly old, hard to handle, and VERY dangerous if it crashes.
Look at the photos above:
* both cockpits are uncovered.
* propellers… WHIRLING BLADES OF DEATH
* the plane itself is fragile, no matter how well it’s restored. The design is still 75 years old.
* notice no parachute. there isn’t room for one. basically you’re fucked.
* did I mention BOTH cockpits. aka: two people. This was a two person plane- not meaning a pilot & a passenger, but two pilots.
Now, you might ask, “why’s he in the back of the plane?” Well good thing I’m here. It’s because he chose to fly a plane that’s usually co-piloted completely solo.
Did you hear that? He flew a plane designed for two people, by himself.
And Thursday (March 5) wasn’t the first time he flew this particular model either. He’d flown it several times all over the world, and is well versed in how this aircraft works.
5. So, why he crashed: simple. The media mentioned it. Engine failure. This isn’t like when your car sputters & stalls, this is the entire engine just stops working. This is also when the plane it’s running falls out of the sky. and unlike cars, you can’t really steer a falling plane.
6. The crash itself:
This all happened right around the airport area, meaning he was right over a heavily developed suburban area. houses, streets, the golf course, a few hospitals…nowhere really to just crash the plane without collateral damage, so he chose teh golf course. Only thing? there were still people playing golf on the golf course. And it was heavily wooded.
Harrison Ford was able to land a 75 year old propeller plane that was completely engine-dead through trees (they call that threading the needle), onto the course, not hitting people, and was able to keep the body of the plane level enough that it didn’t just nosedive into the ground and crumple up like an accordion (google world war II plane crashes sometime. they aren’t pretty.) Prop Planes were EXTREMELY front heavy. Between the engine block being housed in the front, and the propellors, the only thing balancing them out so they didn’t tip over like drunk cats were the wings. This is why I specifically mentioned the difficulty of keeping the plane level. Yes, it’s difficult on all aircraft, but especially prop planes.
he emerged with minor injuries. a few gashes, and they’re keeping in the hospital for tests (largely due to his age. Many times, older people who’ve been in minor accidents often die later because of a heart attack or some such condition, because their bodies can’t handle the stress.)
So that is the amazingness that is HOLY SHIT HARRISON FORD WAS ABLE TO DO WHAT WITH HIS UNRESPONSIVE, VINTAGE AIRPLANE AND NO ONE WAS KILLED AND NOTHING WAS DESTROYED (except for the plane *sob* HOLY HELL)
i just really love harrison Ford, okay?