Harrison Ford’s vintage plane plunged 200 feet to the ground after its engine “sputtered and cut out”.
Miraculously, the 72-year-old actor – who was hauled from the wreckage with “blood all over his face” – is in a stable condition as he recovers at a hospital in Los Angeles.
Entertainment website TMZ published several photos of the badly damaged aircraft.
“At the hospital. Dad is ok. Battered, but ok! He is every bit the man you would think he is. He is an incredibly strong man,” tweeted his son, Ben.
“Thank you all for your thoughts and good vibes for my dad.”
Rolling footage of the downed plane show its nose cone ripped open with substantial damage to the rest of the plane’s bodywork.
The aviation enthusiast’s classical World War II two-seater plane went down at the Penmar Golf Course in Venice, southwest of Los Angeles, about 2.30pm (local time).
The Star Wars actor, who suffered multiple gashes to his head, was breathing and conscious when he was taken to a hospital, where he was listed in a fair to moderate condition, according to Los Angeles fire officials.
Nobody on the ground was hurt but people rushed the scene to help Ford.
“Immediately you could see the engine started to sputter and just cut out, and he banked sharply to the left,” said Jeff Kuprycz, who was golfing when he saw the plane taking off.
“He ended up crashing around the eighth hole.” Kuprycz said the striking yellow-silver plane was about 200 feet overhead when it plunged to the ground.
“There was no explosion or anything. It just sounded like a car hitting the ground or a tree or something. Like that one little bang, and that was it.”
The Star Wars star radioed that his vintage plane’s engine had failed shortly after take-off, and told air-traffic controllers he was returning to the airport before crash-landing. In a recording on website LiveATC.net, Harrison is heard telling the tower at Santa Monica Airport he had “engine failure” and was making an “immediate return”.
The veteran actor was initially reported to be in a critical condition but that was later downgraded.
“There was blood all over his face … Two very fine doctors were treating him, taking good care of him. I helped put a blanket under his hip,” Howard Tabe, an employee at the Penmar Golf Course, told NBC News.
The Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the incident. Ford is married to Calista Flockhart, 50, and they have a son Liam.
Last June, he broke his leg on the set of the new Star Wars movie at Pinewood Studios outside London. AAP