Harrison Ford’s Airport Near-Miss May Lead to Retraining

Dramatic video showing Harrison Ford’s near miss of a passenger airliner as he landed his private plane on a taxiway at California’s John Wayne Airport earlier this month has renewed safety concerns over the incident. However, Dallas aviation attorney Greg Reigel of Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton, LLP, said he expects the Federal Aviation Administration investigation is likely to find the scare was an honest mistake rather than a more serious safety concern.If the investigation shows that Mr. Ford’s actions were inadvertent, then it is likely that the FAA will handle the incident as a ‘compliance action’ which addresses incidents that occur because of flawed procedures, simple mistakes, lack of understanding, or diminished skills, says Mr. Reigel. If the FAA determines that was the cause of the incident, then the FAA will resolve the situation through counseling or remedial training, rather than legal enforcement action.However, if the investigation reveals that the incident resulted from a lack of competence or qualification, then the FAA could require Mr. Ford to submit to re-examination or remedial training, or it could suspend or revoke his airman certificate. But based on the initial limited information available, it does not appear that his competence or qualifications were factors in the incident.

 

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