Harrison Ford Not a Flight Risk

3/9/2015 12:55 AM PDT

Harrison Ford -- Not a Flight Risk

EXCLUSIVE

Harrison Ford may be 72-years-old, but he's still airworthy -- even in a 70-year-old plane -- according to experienced pilots and mechanics who have personal knowledge of the actor's aviation skills.

We called around to various pilots who fly vintage aircraft, and several have had first-hand experience with Ford. They say his motor skills are good and he is thorough and professional when it comes to inspecting the planes he flies before takeoff to make sure they're airworthy.

There's no FAA rule that knocks a private pilot out of the air after a certain age, but all pilots over 40 must get evaluated every 2 years for vision, hearing, blood pressure and mental acuity. They also have to prove their flying skills.

Ford has logged 4,000 hours in the air with various aircraft. As for the one that crashed, however, some pilots have reservations, especially when it comes to the engine. The Kinner engine that quit on Harrison "isn't the most reliable," so claims a pilot who is very familiar with the aircraft. But several people we spoke with say the plane in question was well-maintained and "solid." 

And the pilots we spoke with all said the proof of Ford's flying abilities were validated on a Venice golf course Thursday ... he laid it down as safely as possible, without an engine.