Topic Author
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Landing On Wrong Runway

Tue Oct 29, 2002 7:33 am

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?
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RE: Landing On Wrong Runway

Tue Oct 29, 2002 9:36 am

Some land on the wrong runway, some depart from the wrong runway  Innocent
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RE: Landing On Wrong Runway

Tue Oct 29, 2002 10:30 am

Maybe one of those drunk pilots..

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RE: Landing On Wrong Runway

Tue Oct 29, 2002 10:35 am

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
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RE: Landing On Wrong Runway

Tue Oct 29, 2002 1:34 pm

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

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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2001 9:14 am

RE: Landing On Wrong Runway

Tue Oct 29, 2002 2:27 pm

And that's probably not as bad as landing at the wrong airport...which has also happened from time to time....
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RE: Landing On Wrong Runway

Tue Oct 29, 2002 2:34 pm

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?!?!?!?!


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RE: Landing On Wrong Runway

Wed Oct 30, 2002 10:38 am

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!

RE: Landing On Wrong Runway

Wed Oct 30, 2002 11:05 am

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).
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RE: Landing On Wrong Runway

Thu Oct 31, 2002 5:08 am

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
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RE: Landing On Wrong Runway

Thu Oct 31, 2002 5:24 am

But he would have landed without landing cleranace!?!?I really don't understand how you can do that.
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RE: Landing On Wrong Runway

Thu Oct 31, 2002 5:34 am

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'.

RE: Landing On Wrong Runway

Thu Oct 31, 2002 7:07 am

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
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RE: Landing On Wrong Runway

Thu Oct 31, 2002 9:46 am

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.

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RE: Landing On Wrong Runway

Thu Oct 31, 2002 11:44 am

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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