The National Transportation Safety Board released its final report from the investigation of Harrison Ford’s plane crash on a golf course just west of Santa Monica Airport in southern California on March 5. Ford was climbing out from Runway 21 in his open cockpit Ryan ST-3KR, also known as a PT-22 Recruit, when he reported an engine failure to the tower and attempted to return to the airport on Runway 3. After realizing there was not enough altitude to reach the runway, Ford made an emergency landing on one of the fairways of the Penmar Golf Course in Venice, California, just southwest of the airport.
The open cockpit low-wing monoplane impacted trees surrounding the golf course prior to hitting the ground in an upright position. There was major damage to the wings, right stabilizer and fuselage. Nobody on the ground was hurt.
The NTSB concluded that the probable cause of Harrison Ford’s plane crash was that the carburetor’s main metering jet had become dislodged and rotated 90 degrees, which resulted in the fuel-air mixture being too rich for the engine to operate. The carburetor had been rebuilt 17 years ago. “There was no record of maintenance personnel inspecting the carburetor jets during the previous 17 years nor was there a requirement to do so,” the NTSB report said.
Ford suffered serious injuries as a result of the accident. Those injuries may have been less severe had the aftermarket shoulder harnesses been installed with more reinforcement, the NTSB said.
Get exclusive online content like this delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for our free enewsletter.