Los Angeles: The doctor who came to Harrison Ford's aid immediately after seeing his plane crash-land on a Los Angeles golf course said today he was stunned to discover the actor at the controls.
Dr Sanjay Khurana was golfing yesterday when he saw the plane "drop like a rock" about 50 yards (45 meters) in front of him. He ran to the plane and found the pilot stunned and complaining of pain below his waist and with a deep gash in his scalp.
Khurana and other golfers pulled him from the wreckage, and the doctor assessed his condition. It was at that point that Khurana realized who he was treating.
Ford, 72, is hospitalized with undisclosed injuries that his publicist says are not life-threatening.
The actor, who battled Hitler's henchmen in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" as dashing archaeologist Indiana Jones, was flying a World War II-era plane when it lost engine power shortly after takeoff from Santa Monica Municipal Airport near Los Angeles.
"He had no other choice but to make an emergency landing, which he did safely," Ford spokeswoman Ina Treciokas said. He is expected to make a full recovery, she said in a statement Thursday.
No one on the ground was hurt.
Ford's son Ben tweeted Thursday evening from the hospital:
"Dad is ok. Battered, but ok! He is every bit the man you would think he is. He is an incredibly strong man." Ben Ford's publicist, Rebecca Brooks, verified the tweet Friday in an email to The Associated Press.
Harrison Ford had a cut to his forehead and scraped arms, but it wasn't clear what internal injuries he may have received, Los Angeles Assistant Fire Chief Patrick Butler said.
"He wasn't a bloody mess. He was alert," Butler said. Ford took off at about 2:20 p.M., the NTSB said. A short time later he radioed he had engine failure and was making an immediate return, according to a recording posted by LiveATC.Net.
The plane had been flying at about 3,000 feet (914 meters) and hit a tree on the way down, according to witnesses and officials. The plane, a yellow 1942 Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR, had damage mostly confined to the front.
"I would say that this is an absolutely beautifully executed what we would call a forced or emergency landing, by an unbelievably well-trained pilot," said Christian Fry of the Santa Monica Airport Association.
Charlie Thomson, a flight instructor at the airport who saw Ford take off, said engine failure like Ford's does not make the plane harder to maneuver. "It just means you have to go down," he said.