Morgan Freeman OK After Emergency Landing
A plane carrying actor Morgan Freeman and his pilot blew a tire on takeoff from a Mississippi airport after which the 78-year-old Oscar-winning actor's SJ30 jet made a controlled forced landing.
No one was injured. The incident happened just before nightfall Saturday December 5th at an airport in Tunica after it had taken off from another airport in northwestern Mississippi.
Freeman issued a statement saying he was heading to Texas from Mississippi aboard his plane to shoot a segment for the series, “The Story of God.” He said in the statement, “Sometimes things don’t go as planned and a tire blew on takeoff, which caused other problems but thanks to my excellent pilot Jimmy Hobson we landed safely without a scratch. I cannot say the same about my plane.”
Hobson spent several hours circling and burning off fuel after FAA officials found tire parts on the runway at Fletcher Field. Air traffic controllers sent the plane to Tunica because it has a long runway that would have been been necessary for a safe landing if the aircraft's brakes were non-functional. The jet's gear collapsed and the plane skidded about 2,000 feet before stopping.
Freeman bought the Emivest SJ30 private jet just before Christmas 2009 and used it to tour the world promoting his Clint Eastwood movie Invictus about the South African leader Nelson Mandela.
“I’ve had my eye on the SJ30 for a while,” he told Air International when collecting the jet from Dubai. “It’s fast, economical to run and will allow me to undertake long flights without having to stop for fuel all the time.”
The actor has been flying his own aircraft since 2002, and holds instrument and multi-engine ratings. Freeman’s SJ30 was only the second production example at the time.