Harrison Ford's vintage plane will be moved from a Southern California golf course to an airport hangar Friday morning, as NTSB investigators vowed to "look at everything: weather, man, the machine" in their probe of the actor's crash-landing.
The 72-year-old pilot was "battered, but OK" after the Thursday crash. Some experts believe he escaped severe injuries likely because of his extensive flight experience.
"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.
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The "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones" actor reported engine trouble Thursday afternoon shortly after takeoff and tried to return to the Santa Monica Airport, according to the NTSB. His publicist said he was flying a World War II vintage plane when he crash-landed on the green of a Venice golf course, clipping a tree on the way down.
NTSB investigators said at a Friday news conference said they would continue examining the "fairly simple, old-school" aircraft at a local airport hangar.
"There's a lot of different things that can make an engine quit," said Patrick Jones of the NTSB. "Anytime a human being can survive an accident with a mechanical device ... an airplane, is a good day."
Jones said he believed the plane had an "award-winning" restoration. He added that the NTSB will "look at everything: weather, man, the machine," but it could be a year before a final report is complete.
Aerial footage of the minutes after the crash showed the small yellow World War II trainer plane crashed on the ground at Penmar Golf Club. Ford could be seen being loaded onto a stretcher.
"He had no other choice but to make an emergency landing, which he did safely," his publicist said in a statement. "He was banged up and is in the hospital receiving medical care. The injuries sustained are not life threatening, and he is expected to make a full recovery."
Ford got his pilot's license in the 1990s and has made headlines with his flying before, though he had never been significantly injured doing it. In 2001, he rescued a missing Boy Scout with his helicopter. Nearly a year before, he rescued an ailing mountain climber in Jackson, Wyoming.
In 2000 in Lincoln, Nebraska, a gust of wind sent a six-seat plane Ford was piloting off the runway. He and his passenger were not injured.
He has also volunteered his services during forest-fire season, when rescue helicopters are busy fighting blazes.
"He is every bit the man you would think he is. He is an incredibly strong man. Thank you for all your thoughts and good vibes for my dad," Ben Ford, the actor's son, posted on his Twitter page Thursday.