clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Harrison Ford may never remember his plane crash

If you buy something from a Polygon link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Last night's Halloween-themed episode of The Jimmy Kimmel Show featured none other than Harrison Ford. Kimmel started the interview off by saying how pleased he was to be talking to the 73-year-old after his plane crash in March of this year, and then asked for details about what happened. Unfortunately, Ford has no memory of the events leading up to the impact.

"I remember some of it," Ford said, taking a break from the goofs for a moment. He came on the Kimmel show dressed as a dog dressed as a hot dog.

"I remember the engine stopping. I remember that part very well. And then I remember telling the tower what I was going to do ... And that's the last thing I remember until five days after."

On March 5, Ford was taking off from an airport in Santa Monica, California, when he lost power in his ST-3KR, a 1940s-era U.S. Army trainer. At 1,100 feet he was too low to the ground to attempt to restart the engine, so he did a u-turn and attempted an emergency landing. Unfortunately, he came up 800 ft. short of the runway, clipping a tree and crashing in a golf course.

The historical aircraft, which had been restored more than 17 years ago, was made by the Ryan Aeronautical Company — the same team that built Charles Lindbergh's The Spirit of St. Louis. The National Transportation Safety Board later determined that the cause of Ford's engine failure was a faulty carburetor, which fed too much fuel to the engine.

More than likely, it was Ford's skillful piloting that saved his life. Trouble is, he may never remember what it was he did from inside the aircraft.

"I'm told by the doctors," Ford said, "that the amount of general anesthetic that I got induced a retrograde amnesia."

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon