It’s a phone call no pilot wants to have to make. But after mistakenly landing on a taxiway at John Wayne Airport in Southern California last month, actor and pilot Harrison Ford dialed the number the tower gave him after the incident to talk it over — and face the possible wrath of the FAA.
“I’m the schmuck who landed on the taxiway,” Ford is heard telling the controller in the telephone audio released by the FAA and published first by TMZ.
He acknowledges the screw-up, offering as a seeming defense his confusion caused by the movement of an airliner he buzzed on the taxiway and wake turbulence from an another airliner on approach.
When informed of the “possible pilot deviation,” the actor says, “I understand. I totally understand.”
“Can I just get your name and your pilot’s license [number]?” the controller asks.
“My name is Harrison Ford.”
“And my pilot’s license – let me dig it out here. It’s in my backpack,” Ford says as he searches for the document.
“Take your time,” the controller says. “It’s no big deal.”
“Well,” Ford says, “it’s big deal for me.”
The controller asks Ford for his phone number so the FSDO can call him, ensuring the actor that it won’t be given to anybody else. In the audio, the number is redacted.
The controller finishes the call by saying, “Have a great day. No worries. Bye.”
It’s unclear whether Ford has endured “worries” or faced possible certificate action since then, but given the FAA’s new “compliance philosophy” that favors education over punishment for rule deviations that clearly were mistakes, Ford should be able to move on from the incident with little more than a bruised ego.