Harrison Ford was honored in 2006 with the “Living Legends of Aviation - Aviation Legacy Award.” To further that legacy, Ford has made the award a true legacy by presenting the “Harrison Ford Aviation Legacy Award” every year to honor a person that “Makes the world a better place through aviation.” His personal selection has included aviators that he met meet his criteria for this special Legacy award. To his fellow Legends, Harrison’s respect, admiration and love for aviation and its people give him a delightful change of venue from the movie business. He takes his aviation service very seriously, whether he is Jackson Hole on his ranch flying search and rescue missions, serving four years as the Chairman of the EAA Young Eagles, or providing guidance, support and time educating children in the pursuit of aviation and his commitment to be involved in programs, such as Kiddie Hawk Air Academy, and to relay his love of flight.
Originally, Harrison took some flight training in the 1960s in a Piper PA-22 Tri-Pacer at Wild Rose Idlewild Airport in Wisconsin, but at $15 an hour, the cost was prohibitive, as he had a young family and was a carpenter by trade and a part-time actor when jobs became available. In the 1990s, he bought a used Gulfstream II and asked Terry Bender, one of his pilots, to give him flying lessons. He started with a Cessna 182 and graduated into a Cessna 206 to solo.
Harrison’s keeps his stable of aircraft at Santa Monica Airport, but his Bell 407 is often kept and flown in Jackson, Wyoming. His favorite mode of air transportation is his de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver; it allows him the freedom to fly the back country and gives him the opportunity to “hangar talk” with other pilots. He reverently talks about his love of flying and loves the sound of the Beaver’s radial engine.
The NTSB revealed that Harrison’s most recent accident in a Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR restored WWII trainer was caused by a loose engine part. His association with Bob Hoover and other experienced pilots helped him perform the textbook landing at the nearby Penmar Golf Course. He was injured, but quickly recovered and was back in the pilot seat after several months.
Most people worldwide know Harrison Ford for his blockbuster starring movies such as Hans Solo in Star Wars, Indiana Jones in the Indiana Jones film series, Rick Deckard in Blade Runner, Jack Ryan in the Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger, and many other notable films that have spanned the test of time for six decades, making him the highest grossing U.S. domestic box office star in history.
He devotes time and support to humanitarian organizations in archaeology, as well as land and environmental policies. He is married to Calista Flockhart and has 5 children.