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Landing On Wrong Runway  
User currently offlineJohnJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1726 posts, RR: 2
Posted (13 years 7 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 6244 times:

Last summer I was doing some plane spotting at a public park just across the Belt Parkway from Runway 13L at JFK in New York. It was a great place for viewing, but not great for photography as the arriving aircraft passed almost directly overhead.

Anyway... the landings were being handled by Runway 13L and takeoffs were going off 13R. I had my scanner tuned in to JFK tower. After about an hour of enjoyable action, I saw an A340 in the distance making its final approach to 13R, which surprised me since all other arrivals were going onto 13L. Then on my scanner I heard the tower issue the command "Air Portugal, you're on the wrong runway!! Go around IMMEDIATELY!!". The A340 appropriately banked to the right and began to climb. Some other pilot keyed in with "wow - that's kind of scary".

About 15 minutes later the offending TAP A340 appeared overhead on the correct 13L approach. Wonder what the aircrew told the passengers?

Was this an unusual occurence or is it fairly common at airports handling a lot of foreign-language flights? It's difficult to understand how the crew could make a mistake like this if they were paying much attention to what they were doing. Would an incident like this be reported or would ATC just let it slide?

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineHkgspotter1 From Hong Kong, joined Nov 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (13 years 7 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 6146 times:

Some land on the wrong runway, some depart from the wrong runway  Innocent

User currently offlineFLYYUL From Italy, joined Jun 2000, 5038 posts, RR: 50
Reply 2, posted (13 years 7 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 6101 times:

Maybe one of those drunk pilots..


User currently offlineFlyingbronco05 From United States of America, joined May 2002, 3841 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (13 years 7 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 6092 times:

the pilot wasn't drunk. If you read it correctly it was Air Portugal, NOT America West. Geez.  Nuts  Nuts  Nuts

Never Trust Your Fuel Gauge
User currently offlineAlaskaairlines From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2054 posts, RR: 14
Reply 4, posted (13 years 7 months 6 days ago) and read 6009 times:

Well thats not as bad as an aircraft taking off a taxi way, remeber ANC a year or so ago?


User currently offlineSnoopy From Switzerland, joined Oct 2001, 370 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (13 years 7 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 5956 times:

And that's probably not as bad as landing at the wrong airport...which has also happened from time to time....

User currently offlineMaiznblu_757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 5112 posts, RR: 45
Reply 6, posted (13 years 7 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 5947 times:

Check this out... This is about as embarrassing as they come.

Oscoda-Wurtsmith has an 11,800 ft runway. How can you confuse a 4800ft runway with that?!?!?!?!




User currently offlineTrickijedi From United States of America, joined May 2001, 3266 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (13 years 7 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5812 times:

I was just listening to JFK ATC earlier this afternoon and someone (an airliner, forgot the airline) landed on the wrong runway. He was supposed to land on 22R but instead landed on 22L. Controller said:

"I see you don't like 22R, eh?"

Airliner said, "Sorry sir, we missed it!"

Not long thereafter, the controller told him to liave the runway as fast as possible to make room for the other arrivals.

It was humorous yet scary at the same time.

Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
User currently offlineSeiple From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (13 years 7 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5804 times:

As the retired Continental captain who teaches my Turbine Systems course says..... in ones airline career, they have a lot of phantom trucks cross the runway (or at least that's what they tell the passengers).

User currently offlineTeva From France, joined Jan 2001, 1881 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (13 years 7 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 5736 times:

I have a better one... A few years ago, a Turkish plane landed in Bretigny sur Orge instead if Orly.....
Bretigny and Orly are relatively close. However, Bretigny is used only to test aircraft...

Ecoute les orgues, Elles jouent pour toi...C'est le requiem pour un con
User currently offlineDonder10 From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 6660 posts, RR: 20
Reply 10, posted (13 years 7 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5705 times:

But he would have landed without landing cleranace!?!?I really don't understand how you can do that.

User currently onlineScorpio From Belgium, joined Oct 2001, 5297 posts, RR: 43
Reply 11, posted (13 years 7 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5688 times:

A couple of years ago a Northwest DC10, on its way to Frankfurt, landed in Brussels by accident. The crazy thing is that neither the controllers nor the crew of the DC10 found out the mistake untill after the plane had landed. Strange, especially on the controllers' part, knowing that NW doesn't fly to BRU at all, and the pilots kept on responding with 'Frankfurt approach'.

User currently offlineB747skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (13 years 7 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 5655 times:

Well, this pilot here - landed the wrong airplane - at the wrong airport... the only thing I can say, we were on the correct runways...
In the 1970s, I was with PanAm, West Berlin based (we called that "IGS", the internal German service), we operated 727-100s back then... mostly scheduled flights, but we had a few charters... each saturday, at noon, we had a Palma de Mallorca (PMI) charter, and another one to Barcelona (BCN), both departed about same time...
The flight attendants were normally German, and boarded the aircraft earlier than we did, through the front door, we boarded the aircraft through the tail stairs, driven by the VW minibus for crews... I was scheduled to do PMI... we met the BCN crew at operations, all good buddies... we picked up the paperwork, and joined the BCN crew to be driven to the plane...
They got off the VW minibus at gate 9 (as usual), "have a good trip", so we got driven to gate 7 (as usual), boarded the airplane... I was new in Berlin, did not know the flight attendants by name... Fuel was on board... senior attendant asked "can we board passengers...?" - "yes, go ahead..." - nobody told us they had traded the gates for the two flights... and besides, the other crew (doing BCN) got on the other plane...
PMI and BCN basically same distance, flight time, fuel load... we did not listen to their PA (in German... wilkommen an bord diese flug NACH BARCELONA - unsere flugzeit ist...) - I asked for the push back, got the clearance to Palma, we were Clipper 233, the other plane was Clipper 241, got clearance to Barcelona, push back just after us "we beat them by 5 minutes"... so we will be first to go...
Full flight, 4 flight attendants, quick crew lunch, dont talk much when they serve the meals, other than coffee and water... they are busy...
Two hours and a few minutes later we are on approach for PMI, our senior comes to say "oh we are landing Palma...?" - to us was strange question, but maybe these Berliner ladies speak English that way... We taxi to our gate, and our station representative comes aboard - "are you guys crazy or what...?"
Our mistake was we never looked at the tail number of the plane... nor did the other crew... the flight attendants never said PMI or BCN to us... they boarded the correct plane (at the gate it said Barcelona)... the flight attendants thought the flight crew got changed at last minute...
We refueled and went to BCN, the other plane did same, and came to PMI, but the passenger NEVER BELIEVED that we did not land at the "right airport" as far as pilots were concerned... the "Zeitung" said "two PanAm airplanes landed on wrong airport in Spain"...
From then on, I always look at registrations of planes inside the cockpit, and always ask the flight attandants "are we going to XYZ...?" - they probably think I must be victim of old age...
(s) Skipper  Wink/being sarcastic

User currently offlineSenliture From Australia, joined May 2000, 431 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (13 years 7 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5587 times:

Witness once the Air China A340-300 landed on the wrong runway at HKG-CLK airport. It was supposed to land on 07L but finally on 07R. We saw a plane which was supposed to be on the ILS approach to 07R, but was turning (was thinking if that's a late intercept). I was listening to the ATC that the tower asked the CA's pilot if they can see the runway or not (the visibility was good on that day). The pilot replied as "we are tracking the ILS". The tower urged the pilot to confirm runway otherwise had to go-around. The pilot then replied "established runway 07R". The tower then said "You are supposed to land on 07L!". Luckily no plane was lining up at 07R. The pilot was on course very late, maybe just about 1 to 2 NM before the middle-marker.


User currently offlineDerico From Argentina, joined Dec 1999, 4370 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (13 years 7 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 5565 times:

Great story, Skippers. It's really hard to believe for me that pilots could have things like that get passed them. I guess that even flying gets habitual once you do it regularly...

It would never get habitual with me though! Cheers.

My internet was not shut down, the internet has shut me down
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