aviateur
Posts: 562
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2004 9:25 am

Wrong Airport Landings

Thu Jul 01, 2004 12:04 am

Last week's instance of the NW jet touching down accidentally at an Air Force base has me trying to recall other times when crews have made wayward landings. NW ended up at Brussels instead of Frankfurt you might recall in '95, and a US Airways turboprop went astray last January.

I recall a Western Airlines 737 pulling a similar stunt in Wyoming several years ago. Does anybody know any details of when/where this happened, or other cases?
Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
 
quickmover
Posts: 2134
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 4:28 am

RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Thu Jul 01, 2004 12:08 am

I remember a TWA md83 accidently landing at a small airport near Steamboat. The runway was so short that they took the passengers on to steamboat by bus, took out excess weight and later flew it out.
 
Unique
Posts: 1621
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2003 12:48 am

RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Thu Jul 01, 2004 12:17 am

To take the wrong runway at the right airport can also be fatal (e.g. SQ B744 at TPE on take-off 31OCT2000, WA DC10 at MEX landing on wrong runway 31OCT1979, just to name two).
 
RareBear
Posts: 540
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 4:11 am

RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Thu Jul 01, 2004 12:21 am

Two I recall:

CO B737 landed at a Navy practice field near Corpus Christi instead of the commercial airport. May 1997.

AC A319 almost landed at a small airport in Vernon, BC. Realized error at last minute, pulled up and went to its intended destination at Kelowna, 60 km away. Runway at Vernon was only 3200 ft, too short for A-319. Sept 2003.
Illegitimus non carborundum
 
portcolumbus
Posts: 1571
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RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Thu Jul 01, 2004 12:32 am

TWA put a 707 into OSU instead of CMH back in the 60s. The two airports are almost in line and have a similar configuration (28L,28R CMH, 27L,27R OSU).

There's some cool pictures of it in the aero lab at OSU.
 
seb146
Posts: 13778
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 1999 7:19 am

RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Thu Jul 01, 2004 12:52 am

There were three I had heard of in the Northwest:

United Express was en route to PSC but ended up at Vista Field in Kennewick
PanAm heading for PDX instead landed in Troutdale
Areoflot lined up two times for landing on 1st Avenue in Burien

GO CANUCKS!!
Life in the wall is a drag.
 
HaveBlue
Posts: 2104
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:01 pm

RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Thu Jul 01, 2004 2:13 am

About right airport, but wrong runway, I remember reading in detail about a China Airlines (I think) A-340 taking off from an airport in Alaska... but mistakenly took off from a taxi way. The crew wasn't aware of the error until landing back in their homeland. Apparently they left some tracks in the snow... lifting off just as the taxi way ended.
Here Here for Severe Clear!
 
citationjet
Posts: 2251
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RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Thu Jul 01, 2004 2:36 am

Another 747 cargo plane crashed in Anchorage because in the fog, he lined up with the wrong runway. A much shorter runway, resulting in him running off the end.
The simpliest instrument in the cockpit would have prevented this accident; the compass. A quick check of the compass would have confirmed if the compass heading matched his intended runway heading.
Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
 
andersjt
Posts: 367
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:50 am

RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Thu Jul 01, 2004 2:44 am

Aviateur - the Western Airlines thing happened in 1977 or 1978, if I remember right. I was living in Wyoming at the time. It was when Western still had their hub at Stapleton.

It was a 737 from Denver to Sheridan, Wyoming. The flight had an intermediate stop in Casper. After taking off from Casper, they headed north to Sheridan, and ended up landing in Buffalo, Wyoming. A small town about 60(?) miles south of Sheridan. The cockpit crew had mistaken the Buffalo air strip for the Sheridan airport. The Buffalo strip was not meant to handle 737's but they did land safely. I think there were only about 40 passengers. They were offloaded in Buffalo and bussed to Sheridan. The next morning the aircraft returned to Denver.

Oh how I long for the day when the skies were truly Friendly!
 
SDFOH
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2004 5:58 am

RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Thu Jul 01, 2004 4:31 am

There were a couple odd DL mishaps in KY back in the late 70's, early 80's. One was a DL DC-9 landed at LOU instead of SDF. No similarity between the two, although the fact that they are only 5 sm apart my be a somewhat mitigating circumstance. The other was another DC-9 was enroute SDF-LEX, and decided to land in the state capital instead, the flt crew were on their last legs and were in a big hurry. It was late and the local twr was closed.

In both circumstances the pax were bussed to their dest. The a/c on the other hand had to wait for mtc to show up and strip the airplane of all non-essential equip. We're talking seats, galleys, lavs. Then the a/c were min fueled and shot out to the nearest airport where all the equip could be replaced.
 
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clickhappy
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RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Thu Jul 01, 2004 4:35 am

what about the landing in India at a military field, and they had to gut the 747 interior to get the plane out? Was it a Saudi 747? Someone on here will have the details.
 
FlySSC
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Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 1:38 am

RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Thu Jul 01, 2004 4:42 am

In the early 90's, an Egypt'Air B743 almost landed at Bretigny Airfield (south of Paris), instead of Paris-Orly. The crew realized their mistake and initiated a go-around just a few seconds before touch down.

Another REAL wrong landing occured on November 3rd 1986, when the crew of an Air Charter B707 landed by mistake at Aqaba (Jordan) instead of Eilat (Israel)...
 
TLHFLA
Posts: 492
Joined: Mon May 12, 2003 10:19 am

RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Thu Jul 01, 2004 4:45 am

I remember hearing of a plane landing at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa instead of Tampa International in 1980. I think it was a 727, although I am not sure which airline. MacDill and Tampa International are about five miles from each other.
Bill in ATL
 
steve7e7
Posts: 434
Joined: Sun May 09, 2004 11:33 pm

RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Thu Jul 01, 2004 4:50 am

In the early 70's an airliner landed at RAF Northolt instead of LHR.

I don't remember which airline it was but I recall they had to strip the seats out before it could fly the few miles back to LHR.

Steve.
 
KYIPpilot
Posts: 1357
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 11:14 pm

RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Thu Jul 01, 2004 5:03 am

I have heard that a Delta MD-80 landed in Ormond Beach, FL instead of Daytona Beach. OB is just north of DAB, and has similar runway positions. It was at night too. I don't know the date.

Also, a NW DC-10 landed at Brussels, Belgium instead of Frankfurt, Germany.
"It starts when you're always afraid; You step out of line, the man come and take you away" -Buffalo Springfield
 
NZ767
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RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Thu Jul 01, 2004 6:18 am

Amazing that in this day and age with all the modern nav equipment, communications and CRM, that this sort of thing can still happen.  Wow!
 
StearmanNut
Posts: 344
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RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Thu Jul 01, 2004 8:00 am

I was doing some Navion touch and go's at Corpus Christi Cudahy field one sunny spring day in 1967. Cudahy ( an old Navy airfield) was under tower control by Corpus Christi Intl, because it is about 2 miles from the main airport.

The radio comes alive: A strongly Spanish accented voice booms out, "Corpos Chreesti tower, Mexicana 214 on final. I have one leetle above me and one leetle one below me, please advise." (Last time I had heard this guy was when he previously radio'ed in over "Flour Bluff Intersection" and was vectored to the proper runway heading for Corpus Intl.)

About that time, I hear a huge roar and see a large shadow as the big Mexicana DC-6 flies between me and another plane in the pattern. I was just lifting off the runway when all this happened. I stayed low and turned out to the right to avoid his wake turbulence.

Corpus vectored him again and instructed him to land on the correct runway and airport this time and to come up and see the tower supervisor. That flight left out of Corpus about 45 minutes later with the same guy at the controls. I bet he got a hot management reception in Mexico City. Funny tho, the FAA never contacted me or the other pilot about the incident.
If wishes were horses, a Tail Dragger I would fly...
 
A340Spotter
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Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2003 9:52 am

RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Thu Jul 01, 2004 2:34 pm

I remember in the late 1990s that Atlas Air ferried a 747-200F into Avra Valley Airport just southeast of Marana, their intended destination. As Avra Valley had just installed lights on their runway, the crew, cleared for arrival visually into MZJ, picked up the lights for Avra Valley and landed, taking out quite a few of the newly installed lights!
They had to remove equipment as well for the short hop across the desert floor.

Jeffrey
"Irregardless, it's a Cat III airplane, we don't need an alternate!"
 
Tasha
Posts: 537
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 2:34 pm

RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Thu Jul 01, 2004 2:44 pm

Also, a NW DC-10 landed at Brussels, Belgium instead of Frankfurt, Germany

WOW!!! How did that happen? Brussels and Frankfurt are more than 100 miles apart!

 
Ryanair!!!
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RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Thu Jul 01, 2004 2:56 pm

The NW incident was widely covered in the media. Even us here in Singapore got wind of it. Even as the plane descended for Brussels, the Captain still referred to Frankfurt. Even the Airshow on the main screen showed that the aircraft was headed for Zaventem, and not Frankfurt!

Some of the passengers were aware but made no indication to the crew, presumably they thought the Airshow was screwing up.
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
 
artsyman
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Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2001 12:35 pm

RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Thu Jul 01, 2004 3:30 pm

The NW incident at Brussells makes no sense to me at all. Virtually all readings on the plane would confirm that they are nowhere near where they want to be. I can stretch to understand popping through the clouds to see the a runway in front of you that shares the same heading as where you are going, and thus you descend to land, but to be hundreds of miles off seems impossible. The amount of errors and complete stupidity would have to be endless for both pilots, a flight engineer and all the local ATC to not notice what is going on...

J
 
SR 103
Posts: 1618
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2000 6:19 am

RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Thu Jul 01, 2004 4:04 pm

Some of the passengers were aware but made no indication to the crew, presumably they thought the Airshow was screwing up.

I know someone who was on that particular flight. They all thought the plane had been hi-jacked or something of that nature. That may explain the reason for the lack of intervention from the passenger cabin.

Still amazes me how such a mistake could have been done in the first place.

SR 103
 
BostonGuy
Posts: 484
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2000 5:49 am

RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Thu Jul 01, 2004 9:26 pm

Korean Air Lines had a real doozy with a 707 in 1978.

A commercial flight with a Paris-Anchorage-Seoul routing made a u-turn after having passed out of radar range over northern Greenland (where it was still on-course).

It was next spotted over a secret Soviet military base in Murmansk. It was shot at by Soviet fighters, damaged (2 passengers were killed by the shots), descended to 3,000 feet and then flew around northern Soviet Union for 90 minutes before landing at night on a frozen lake.

Not exactly a "wrong airport" situation, but you have to be off course in order to land at the wrong airport and so this Korean Air Lines incident might be a good example of being WAY off course and landing somewhere other than the intended destination.

One needs a globe or a polar map to really appreciate how far off course this plane strayed.
 
Jamake1
Posts: 800
Joined: Mon May 17, 2004 2:30 pm

RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Thu Jul 01, 2004 10:32 pm

I remember in the early 1980's a Pacific Express BAC-111 was enroute to either Redmond/Bend or Klamath Falls, Oregon and landed at the wrong airport in Prineville, Oregon.
United's B747-400. "She's a a cruel lover."
 
lat41
Posts: 457
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 12:23 pm

RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Fri Jul 02, 2004 5:29 am

I beleive in the 80's an American 727-200 landed at Quonset Airport in N. Kingstown RI (a converted Naval Air Station) instead of Green Airport PVD several miles to the North. Runway headings were similar.
 
rikkus67
Posts: 1141
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2000 11:34 am

RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Fri Jul 02, 2004 11:39 am

THE "NEW" WP COLORSCHEME:

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Here is a link to a timetable with the "new" WPA colorscheme (of June '97 and on...) rather attractive, actually...

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R in Canada
AC.WA.CP.DL.RW.CO.WG.WJ.WN.KI.FL.SK.ACL.UA.US.F9
 
AmericanAirFan
Posts: 385
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 10:22 am

RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Fri Jul 02, 2004 12:19 pm

How can a plane on Auto Pilot with ILS land on the wrong runway? and even the wrong country!?
"American 1881 Cleared For Takeoff One Seven Left"
 
LV
Posts: 1546
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2001 6:02 am

RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Fri Jul 02, 2004 12:58 pm

I heard a story about a DC9 landing at EYE (eagle creek) instead of IND. only had about a 1/3 of the runway he thought he did. IND and EYE are about 5 nm apart and have the same layout.
 
StevenUhl777
Posts: 3281
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2001 11:02 am

RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Fri Jul 02, 2004 1:05 pm

PanAm heading for PDX instead landed in Troutdale

United did the same thing a long time ago...a DC-8 landed at Troutdale, some 10-15 miles east of 28L/R.

They had to take all the seats out, among other things, in order for it to take off. From what my Dad told me (who used to work for UA in PDX) the media made a big thing out of the takeoff, and being the media, assumed the plane would barely get off the runway. So, they all lined up at the end hoping to get the cover page shot. Allegedly, a UA employee told one photographer to stand about a 1,000 feet from the end, as that's the point where the plane would rotate. Sure enough, it did, and that one photographer made the rest look like schmucks!  Big thumbs up
And the winner for best actress is....REESE WITHERSPOON for 'Walk the Line'!!!!!!!!
 
milesrich
Posts: 1508
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 2:46 am

RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Fri Jul 02, 2004 2:11 pm

In the 70's, a UA 727 landed at Ft Lauderdale Executive instead of FLL. An OZ FH-227B landed in Dixon IL, the boyhood home of Ronald Reagan, instead of at SQI. The TWA MD-83 landed at CRG, Craig, CO, instead of at the Yampa Valley Airport in Hayden, CO. The Craig runway is only about 4,000 feet long and the altimeter is about 6100 feet.
 
HaveBlue
Posts: 2104
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:01 pm

RE: Wrong Airport Landings

Fri Jul 02, 2004 2:22 pm

Bostonguy do you have a link to some info on that account? I believe you, but that is an incredulous story. So bullets from a Soviet fighter killed two of the passengers? That would be a Twilight Zone moment for sure. The fact that the Soviets didn't take it down completely, after another 90 minutes of flying seems a bit strange too. After all, wasn't it in the late 80's that the USSR shot down another 747, killing all on board, for straying too far from international airspace? Flying over their secret military base and continuing to fly for 90 minutes seems like an invitation for disaster.

I would love to know the details.
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