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Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?  
User currently offlineBuyantUkhaa From Mongolia, joined May 2004, 2871 posts, RR: 3
Posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 17730 times:

Hi all,

I have a question about a story that I heard years ago but that I haven't been able to verify: apparently, a pilot mistook tried to land a relatively large plane on an airport, just managed to stop on a runway that he found surprisingly short, to realise than that he'd landed on the wrong airport. The plane couldn't take off anymore after that. I think the story said it was near San Francisco.

Can anybody confirm/deny/elaborate?

Thanks!


I scratch my head, therefore I am.
34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCha747 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 784 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 17598 times:

BuyantUkhaa - Check-out the website below:

http://www.thirdamendment.com/wrongway.html

No San Francisco incident is listed, but I wouldn't be surprised.

It lists many such "wrong way" landings. The incident that comes to mind the clearest for me was the Saudi Arabian 747 that landed at Tambaram Air Force Base instead of the international airport at Chennai (Madras - MAA). They had to bus all the pax to MAA and they had to strip-down the 747 so that it could take-off from the short runway.

Another favorite (and the link doesn't work to this one...anybody have more info) is the NW DC-10 on Sept 5, 1995 that landed 200 miles off course in BRU rather than FRA. Seems like NW has a history of this  Big thumbs up



You land a million planes safely, then you have one little mid-air and you never hear the end of it - Pushing Tin
User currently offlinePortcolumbus From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 1614 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 17425 times:

A TWA 707 did that in Columbus in the 60s. Landed at OSU instead of CMH, they had to strip the plane down to get it back out.

User currently offlineEDKA From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 342 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 17387 times:

Can someone please clarify this for me - how is it possible to land a plane at the wrong airport?
wouldn't all navigational systems be telling you that you are in the wrong place? what about conversations with ATC?
many thanks



User currently offlineClipper002 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 679 posts, RR: 13
Reply 4, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 17300 times:

EDKA,
Most if not all incidents like this occur in VFR conditions and with a crew who has not been at these airports before. They're relying on eyesight, not instruments.

Ed



Ed
User currently offlineBroke From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1322 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 17096 times:

When I lived in Miami, there were several incidents of aircraft either almost or actually landing at Opa Locka instead of Miami International. The airports are about 15 miles or so apart, both have runways 9L-27R, 9R-27L, and are about the same distance between Biscayne Bay and the Palmetto Expressway. On a hazy day with a visual approach, it is possible to do so, if you are not paying attention.
There was a National Airlines L-188 that landed at the Ormond Beach Airport instead of Daytona and that is a stretch. They stripped that airplane to get it out cleanly.
There have been some airplanes that have landed at Hickam AFB instead of Honolulu International; those runways were almost exactly in line with each other.
Years ago (1970's??) a United (I think) 737-200 landed at a small field in Oregon, I've forgotten where he was supposed to land. The local town thought that this was a great theme for an annual festival, which is still going on. Initially the captain wouldn't attend (they invited him and the whole crew very nicely); but later he did and really enjoyed himself.


User currently offlineStearmanNut From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 352 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 16905 times:

I remember a vivid day in 1967 when I was doing touch and go's in an Air Com Cessna 150 at Cudahy Field in Corpus Christi. A Mexicana DC6 blew through the pattern trying to land at Cudahy instead of Corpus International. I'll never forget the roar and wake turbulence as he aborted his landing and went around to get lined up again at the correct airport two miles farther north. He went right over the top of me just as I was flaring out for landing.

He may not have been stuck at Cudahy but his passengers would have had a bad time of coping with the wrong airport.



If wishes were horses, a Tail Dragger I would fly...
User currently offlineBAViscount From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 2338 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 16747 times:

I'm quoting here from a great book called "A Wing and a Prayer" by Graham Nown (published by Futura - ISBN 0 7088 4210 0):

"In the 1960's, Northolt Airport was frequently mistaken for Heathrow. To make matters more confusing, each airport had a nearby gasometer. One 707 landed on Northolt's tiny runway in error and could not take off again. Ever since, Heathrow's gasometer has been painted with the giant letters LHR and an arrow pointing in the right direction".

I also seem to remember reading the same story in another book that said that all the seats had to be removed from the 707 before it was light enough to take off again.

Can't say as I've ever noticed the LHR on the gasometer myself, but it's a good story!

[Edited 2004-09-14 20:51:12]


Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb
User currently offlineFL1TPA From United States of America, joined May 2004, 258 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 16670 times:

I'm sorry but I don't have any info on the incident in SFO. I do believe, however, that a US Airways jet landed at McDill Air Force base in Tampa by mistake after being cleared for the visual approach and landing in TPA. McDill is about 5 miles south of TPA. TPA runways 36L & 36R are north-south runways, but McDill's runways are oriented differently. If a jet was on the downwind leg for approach to 36L, at a certain point they would be perfectly lined up with one of McDill's runways. If the pilot wasn't paying too close attention, and also was an idiot, he could go ahead and land if he really put it down quick. The US Air jet mentioned above was immediately met by MPs and allowed to jump back over to TPA with a hefty fine I'm sure.

FL1TPA



"Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffin' glue."
User currently offlineNZblue From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 637 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 16663 times:

Did I read somewhere that a United DC-10 ended up landing at DCA several years ago due to a combination of bad weather and a dwindling fuel supply?

NZblue



It's an entirely different kind of flying; all together.
User currently offlineClipper002 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 679 posts, RR: 13
Reply 10, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 16449 times:

In 1990, I was deadheading from TPA to MIA on one of our 727's. The flight was full in the back so I was able to get the jumpseat in the cockpit. Now this crew had been over in TXL flying our IGS services for years and had never been to MIA. We were cleared for a visual to 9L at MIA with the co-pilot flying the plane. As we're passing through 5,000 feet, the engineer states that he has the runway in sight but the it's at our 10 o'clock position. Immediately the Captain shouts out "turn left heading 090" and the co-pilot complies. Now at this stage I'm looking out the front of the cockpit and clearly see MIA off to our right in the distance. I didn't really want to "overrule " a captain but knew we had just turned onto final approach at Opa Locka instead of MIA. I politely leaned forward and advised the Captain that I thought we were on approach to the wrong airport and pointed out MIA's lights at 2 o'clock. Immediately the captain barked out "turn right to 180" and again the copilot complied. We landed uneventfully several minutes later and never as there a word mentioned about the event by any of the crew or for that matter any of the FAA controllers.

Ed



Ed
User currently offlineBuyantUkhaa From Mongolia, joined May 2004, 2871 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 16104 times:

Thanks foor all the info and good stories so far! Maybe the San Francisco incident, if it exists, will pop up later.

BuyantUkhaa



I scratch my head, therefore I am.
User currently offlineAv8trxx From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 657 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 15902 times:

I remember one about a United DC-8 that should have landed at PDX and went into Troutdale, OR airport instead.

User currently offlineSilverfox From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1058 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 15825 times:

BAViscount

It is not an urban myth, when I worked for BT one of my clients was BA, and the main switchboard was housed in a building at the edge of the field. A single story one in line with the runway. The operator on duty said the wheels missed them by no more than 10ft, and yes all the seats were out and just enough fuel for a full bore throttle up (brakes on) right outside their window, with immediately landing at LHR, even then the law stopped all the traffic on the A40 just in case it used that as well to get of. Airline not known.
Yes the Gasholder does say LH on it as well as the one at Harrow that has NL
Pictures will be taken one day!!

Regards
Ron


User currently offlineDeltabobo From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 206 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 15757 times:

Several years ago, a Comair EMB-120 Brasilia landed at Spartanburg Downtown Airport (KSPA), a local GA airport in nearby Spartanburg. Our supervisor had to run out to SPA to give the pilots their dispatch so they could takeoff again to go to the right airport at GSP. About 6 months later, a Delta MD-88 from ATL landed at Donaldson Center (KGYH), a former AFB from the cold war days. The pilots taxiied off and didn't have a dispatch, so the passengers (a full load of 142 pax, including baggage) had to be bussed over to GSP. A Comair CRJ landed at Greenville Downtown Airport (KGMU), the main GA airport for Greenville, SC (my hometown). The runway was 5393 ft long, and they were too heavy to get off the ground. The plane was flown empty to CVG and pax were bussed to GSP. All this adventure for a smaller airport!!!!


Dispatchers...saving pilots from themselves and their egos since 1938!
User currently offlineBurnsie28 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 7531 posts, RR: 8
Reply 15, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 15519 times:

Sounds to me like hes talking about the TWA MD-80 that landed in Craig rather then Steamboat Springs, CO


"Some People Just Know How To Fly"- Best slogan ever, RIP NW 1926-2009
User currently offlineSdkualeb From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 129 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 15070 times:

Didn't NW do something like that just this June. I was at the Jay Leno show and he raged on NW and the pilots most of his monologue. I think they landed at some Airforce base. If so, how dose this happen, don't the ATC people follow the planes? Since 9/11 if a plane go off course even slightly they send out fighter jet after them?

[Edited 2004-09-14 23:42:02]

[Edited 2004-09-14 23:43:26]

User currently offlineMilesrich From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1991 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 14966 times:

In the 1970's, a UA 727-022 landed at Opa Locka instead of MIA. Another flight, I don't remember the airline, landed at Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport rather than FLL at about the same time. An Ozark FH-227B landed at the Dixon Municipal Airport (the boyhood home of Ronald Reagan) rather than SQI, Sterling Rock Falls/Whiteside County Airport, in the 1970's. Delta landed a 727 in LEX instead of SDF. And as mentioned above, in 2000, a TWA MD-83 landed at Craig instead of HDN.

User currently offlineBurnsie28 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 7531 posts, RR: 8
Reply 18, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 14785 times:

Didn't NW do something like that just this June. I was at the Jay Leno show and he raged on NW and the pilots most of his monologue. I think they landed at some Airforce base. If so, how dose this happen, don't the ATC people follow the planes? Since 9/11 if a plane go off course even slightly they send out fighter jet after them?

Yes, they landed at and Air Force base, and no, they were not stuck in the mud. I like how Jay Leno talks S**T when he has no idea as to what really went on. That issue was discussed in length here on a.net. And since it was on final approach and the ATC (which was operated by that air force base, and they said they didnt see him coming) means no, no fighters.



"Some People Just Know How To Fly"- Best slogan ever, RIP NW 1926-2009
User currently offlineFutureFO From Ireland, joined Oct 2001, 3132 posts, RR: 21
Reply 19, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 14738 times:

Yes in the late 1990's around 1998-1999 due to Tornadoes and bad weather around IAD UA diverted a DC10 to DCA. Got the pax unloaded and almost went with a 0 fuel onboard to get the a/c off the short runway at DCA to repo back over to IAD.


Sean from MCO and CVG



I Don't know where I am anymore
User currently offlineFlybyguy From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 1801 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 14628 times:

Why is it in cases where the crew lands at the wrong airport that they don't just take-off again and make the short hop to the right airport? That will save the airline and passengers the trouble of moving bags and people via ground transportation.

After all, I presume most flights upon landing have enough fuel reserves for a go-around, holding pattern or other emergency.

EDIT: This is all assuming that the wrong airport's runway is of similar or greater length than the correct airport's runway.

[Edited 2004-09-15 00:33:00]


"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
User currently offlineSonOfACaptain From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1747 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 14587 times:

Hey BuyantUkhaa, I've also heard of the story you are talking about. Apparently a PanAm 747 was on approach to SFO when he lined up with another airport. The tower at this airport warned the Captain what he was doing but the he refused, saying he was right. He was later proved wrong when he ran out of runway fast!
I heard this when I went to my dad's last checkride on the sim of a 757. Atleast I landed at the right airport.  Big thumbs up

-SOAC



Non Illegitimi Carborundum
User currently offlineTimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6790 posts, RR: 7
Reply 22, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 14428 times:

"Apparently a PanAm 747 was on approach to SFO when he lined up with another airport. The tower at this airport warned the Captain what he was doing but the he refused, saying he was right."

Sounds very like a legend, doesn't it? Like the aircraft carrier and the lighthouse. Everybody likes to chuckle at the pigheaded people in authority, so such stories are popular.


User currently offlineUA777222 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 3348 posts, RR: 11
Reply 23, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 14214 times:

Flybyguy,

If you look at the NW issue that happened recently you will see why it is hard to just "take-off again". It's like hitting a car and driving off after you do it. The military is very picky of who lands on their runways and when you do so "oops" isn't going to cover it.

Weight and other calculations will play in the game. If your too heavy you need to get rid of as much weight as you can. Thus meaning you off load all passengers and baggage. If this isn't enough then you pull out the drawing boards and take off anything you don't need.

clearance into the airspace outside of the airport in which you have landed might be a bit tricky. Secondly if a pilot is able to land at the wrong airport then I bet the airline would like to have a word with them. Most of the airports that have this happen are either really small airports or airports with no towers and are monitored by other towers/centers. With other traffic in the patter who they have to deal with this can be hard for the controllers.

Hope this helps answer your question. Anyone is free to correct me or add to what I have said.

Have a good day.

Thanks again.

UA777222



"It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."
User currently offlineNWAFA From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1893 posts, RR: 16
Reply 24, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 13104 times:

Rember in the mid 90's Delta was having problems getting to the correct airport...thats were people said what does DELTA stand for?

D on't
E ver
L and
T here
A gain




THANK YOU FOR FLYING NORTHWEST AIRLINES, WE TRULY APPRECIATE YOUR BUSINESS!
25 Uk_Dispatcher : I've heard of this happening at WFD, with planes actually bound for MAN. I believe several years ago it happened with an Aviogenex TU-134 and a Sabena
26 Jm017 : "In the 1960's, Northolt Airport was frequently mistaken for Heathrow. To make matters more confusing, each airport had a nearby gasometer. One 707 la
27 Max Q : Broke Hickam AFB in Honolulu is colocated with HNL international, in other words ITS ON THE SAME AIRPORT there is no 'wrong airport' to land on.
28 Qfba : Recently in Mackay, a Qantaslink aircraft was only a about 100m from landing on the freeway before it realised it was not airport. The same week Qanta
29 Spacecadet : Most if not all incidents like this occur in VFR conditions and with a crew who has not been at these airports before. They're relying on eyesight, no
30 Post contains images RobK : Is there any truth in that a Shamrock 747 landed at East Midlands instead of Manchester/Brum (can't remember which) and EMA didn't have steps big enou
31 DeskPilot : In the 1980's a Garuda flight (don't know type) was on final for Melbourne International (YMML) runway 34, but the FP mistook nearby Essendon (YMEN) r
32 PROSA : A quick question: what is a gasometer? A huge tank used to store natural gas.
33 Clipper002 : Spacecadet, I didn't say we were flying VFR, I said in VFR conditions. You cannot execute a visual approach if you are not in VFR conditions. I don't
34 Skyguy : JAL8013, a DC-8, landed at Juhu Airport instead of Bombay Airport (India), 9km away in 1972. Pilot and co-pilot mistook Juhu for Bombay due to poor vi
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