He’s been the hero of countless action films, but it seems that Harrison Ford was a real-life hero for his quick-thinking actions during the incident which led to his plane crash in Los Angeles on Thursday.

According to eyewitness reports and the accounts of pilots and flight instructors, the 72 year old actor did exactly what he was trained to do in response to situation in which he found himself. Moments after taking off in a vintage military plane, Ford radioed to report that his engine had failed.

Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford's actions in landing his stricken plane "saved several lives"

Without power, he was able to keep up his speed, turn around and found the safest open space near to the runway to put the plane down – Penmar Golf Course. Film producer and pilot licence holder Ryan Kavanaugh remarked: “He literally had five seconds (to decide what to do) - 99 per cent of pilots would have turned around to go back to the runway.”

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Had he done so, the results would have been incalculably worse. “The plane would have stalled, gone nose first and crashed,” Kavanaugh continued. “He made the correct turn that the plane was designed for with an engine out. Harrison did what the best pilots in the world would do." Onlooker Eddie Aguglia added “another 25 to 30 yards and I don't want to think about it. He saved several lives.”

Every couple of years, an incident like this involving a small plane happens in the vicinity of Santa Monica airport, and aircraft have been known to land in streets, hit garages and even homes. The L.A. Times believes that at least eleven such incidents have occurred since 1982.

Because of the densely populated residential areas in the vicinity of the airport, elected officials and activists alike have called for it to be closed, precisely because of incidents such as this.

The Indiana Jones and Star Wars actor was bloodied and suffered a broken pelvis and ankle upon the crash landing, but was otherwise unhurt. He is expected to make a full and quick recovery.

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