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Crossair Crash: Pilot Mistake?

Tue Dec 11, 2001 6:41 pm

I found this article on internet. It is in French. It is said that in 1999, a Crossair pilot who should have landed in Sion, landed by mistake in Aosta, Italy. How is such a big mistake possible??? Have you ever heard about something like this?
The pilot who made this mistake was the pilot of the Crossair flight which crashed near Zurich in November!

BERNE - Le pilote aux commandes de l'appareil de Crossair qui s'est écrasé près de Bassersdorf (ZH) le 24 octobre avait commis une grave erreur en mars 1999. Au lieu d'atterrir comme prévu à Sion, il avait rejoint par inadvertance l'aéroport d'Aoste, en Italie.
L'incident a fait l'objet d'une enquête interne, a indiqué lundi Thomas Brandt, de la direction du groupe Crossair et chef de l'état-major de crise, lors de l'émission de la télévision alémanique «10 vor 10». Sinon, aucun cas similaire ne s'est déjà produit.
Le vol du 21 mars 1999 menait l'appareil de Kloten à Sion. Les conditions météorologiques étaient bonnes. Le pilote, décédé dans le crash de Bassersdorf, s'était rendu compte de son erreur au dernier moment avant d'atterrir en Italie. Il avait alors remis les gaz et s'était dirigé vers Sion.
(SDA-ATS\/tg bas/c5swi zh c4ita vs come div jus)
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RE: Crossair Crash: Pilot Mistake?

Tue Dec 11, 2001 7:31 pm

He didn't land in Aosta, but was preparing its landing. A passenger filmed this and yesterday, this video shootage was shown in the Swiss TV news.

How could this happen? Well it's not the first time, an aircraft is approaching the wrong airport, and it will not be the last time.

dominguez(dash)online(dot)ch ... Pushing the limits of my equipment
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RE: Crossair Crash: Pilot Mistake?

Tue Dec 11, 2001 7:35 pm

He didn't actually land, but noticed his mistake, broke off his approach and went off to find the place he should have landed.

It really is quite incredible though if it is true...or it is someone who wasn't much of a skiing fan. Sion is in a valley that is very distinctive and certainly very different to Aosta. You haven't got the Mt. Blanc right next to you for a start!
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RE: Crossair Crash: Pilot Mistake?

Wed Dec 12, 2001 12:01 am

Just what I was about to mention. Must have taken a wrong turn at Mt. Blanc Big grin

No, of course this is sad. However, if he had the approach charts for Sion Vallaise out, he should have known already before going in that it was the wrong place, considering the special approach into Sion.

Courtesy of
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RE: Crossair Crash: Pilot Mistake?

Wed Dec 12, 2001 12:39 am

This is not the first time something like this has happened. Back in the late '60's, the pilot of a TWA 707 landed at OSU Airport instead of Port Columbus International. I believe that after they stipped down the airpland to the bare minimum, they were able to get the plane out of the airport.
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RE: TWA Did It Few Months Ago

Wed Dec 12, 2001 8:46 am

I read that a TWA md-80 landed at the wrong airport and the pilots only noticed after they landed....(No other planes around!!!!)

The runway was to short for them to take off so when they tried to, the plane got stuck in the mudd...I wonder how they got it back to an airport with an airstrip long enough!! This happened few months ago, and the pilots got fired of course!

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RE: Crossair Crash: Pilot Mistake?

Wed Dec 12, 2001 8:57 am

There was a story some years back of a charter flight from Paris landing in Aqaba (Jordan) instead of Eilat (Israel). This was before the peace treaty. The passengers were surprised to see the plane surrounded by Jordanian soldiers. They were kept on the plane and allowed to leave about an hour later for the short 5 minute flight to Eilat.
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RE: Crossair Crash: Pilot Mistake?

Wed Dec 12, 2001 9:26 am

I remember NW flight ( in 80's) from DTW to FRA with stop over somewhere in Ireland ( i think). They did stop in Ireland, but than FO set instruments wrong, and they landed in BRU instead. Ha. I dont know if they got fired or not. I know they noticed it on final, but decided to land anyway.
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RE: Crossair Crash: Pilot Mistake?

Wed Dec 12, 2001 9:44 am

And then in Sion, of all places!!!

It is like landing a floatplane by mistake on the ocean instead of on the river down the Grand Canyon.

It must have been dark. It must have been low cloud cover. And it must have been a terrible technical navigation error - dialed in a wrong VOR and such.

Just imagine that the failure had been the other way around. For sure they would then have crashed into the mountains at Sion.

Regards, Preben Norholm
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs

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