User avatar
Buyantukhaa
Posts: 2289
Joined: Thu May 13, 2004 5:33 am

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Tue Sep 14, 2004 10:31 pm

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.
 
cha747
Posts: 753
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 1:07 pm

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Tue Sep 14, 2004 11:08 pm

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
 
portcolumbus
Posts: 1574
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2000 7:10 am

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Tue Sep 14, 2004 11:54 pm

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.
 
edka
Posts: 371
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 5:15 pm

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Tue Sep 14, 2004 11:58 pm

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

 
Clipper002
Posts: 659
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2004 4:24 am

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 12:16 am

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
 
broke
Posts: 1299
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2002 8:04 pm

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 1:26 am

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.
 
StearmanNut
Posts: 344
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2004 9:54 am

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 2:14 am

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...
 
BAViscount
Posts: 1975
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2004 8:01 am

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 3:47 am

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
 
FL1TPA
Posts: 225
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 7:29 am

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 4:01 am

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."
 
nzblue
Posts: 563
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 12:44 pm

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 4:03 am

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.
 
Clipper002
Posts: 659
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2004 4:24 am

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 4:29 am

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 avatar
Buyantukhaa
Posts: 2289
Joined: Thu May 13, 2004 5:33 am

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 4:57 am

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.
 
Av8trxx
Posts: 632
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2001 7:08 am

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 5:16 am

I remember one about a United DC-8 that should have landed at PDX and went into Troutdale, OR airport instead.
 
silverfox
Posts: 1032
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 8:39 am

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 5:21 am

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
 
deltabobo
Posts: 163
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2003 1:16 am

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 5:28 am

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!
 
burnsie28
Posts: 5035
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 1:49 am

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 5:49 am

Sounds to me like hes talking about the TWA MD-80 that landed in Craig rather then Steamboat Springs, CO
 
sdkualeb
Posts: 128
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 2:13 pm

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 6:40 am

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]
 
milesrich
Posts: 1508
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 2:46 am

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 6:52 am

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.
 
burnsie28
Posts: 5035
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 1:49 am

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 7:12 am

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.
 
FutureFO
Posts: 2811
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2001 10:58 pm

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 7:18 am

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
 
flybyguy
Posts: 1415
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2004 12:52 pm

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 7:30 am

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
 
SonOfACaptain
Posts: 1695
Joined: Thu May 27, 2004 5:36 am

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 7:34 am

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
 
timz
Posts: 6100
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 1999 7:43 am

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 7:51 am

"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.
 
ua777222
Posts: 2987
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2003 11:23 am

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 8:21 am

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."
 
NWAFA
Posts: 1843
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 10:30 pm

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 11:15 am

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!
 
UK_Dispatcher
Posts: 2254
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2001 8:44 pm

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 11:42 am

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 737-200. Again, seats had to be removed etc...!

I believe the 707 landing at Northolt which was mentioned earlier may have been operated by PIA.

[Edited 2004-09-15 04:44:25]
 
jm017
Posts: 780
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2002 6:47 pm

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 11:50 am

"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".


A quick question: what is a gasometer?
"It's okay to cheat, if you just really don't like to lose."
 
Max Q
Posts: 5634
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 12:56 pm

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.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
qfba
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2004 9:28 pm

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 5:12 pm

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 Qantaslink had a passenger overdose in a toilet and an attempted entry into the cockpit where a male flight attendant was stabed with a blunt object in the shoulder.

These troubled B717 that Qantaslink flew now belong to Jetstar. More recently Jetstar had an emergency landing when the cabin filled with smoke, a seat belt slashed to show the lack of security, and a near mid air collision with a Qantas B737 near the resort island of Hamilton in the Whitsundays.
 
spacecadet
Posts: 2790
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2001 3:36 am

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 5:50 pm

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.

Airliners do not fly under VFR flight rules. I'm guessing you meant "visual meteorological conditions" rather than "visual flight rules".

Or maybe you just meant they were flying a visual approach (which is different than flying VFR) - but if so, I don't think this means what you think it means. When flying a visual approach, you're not "relying on eyesight" to navigate, you're only relying on eyesight to line up your airplane on approach (via the VASI lights, or whatever). Airline pilots - whether they be a on a scheduled passenger flight or just a positioning flight or whatever - are trained to use all of their navigational instruments all of the time, even in VMC. A modern-day airline pilot doesn't turn off his FMC and his nav radios just because it's sunny out. 30 years ago pilots didn't have FMC but they still had VOR navigation.

Which is just by way of saying there's no good excuse for landing at the wrong airport in an airliner, ever. If you do it, it means you've ignored procedure, ignored training, and ignored the navigational aids available to you.

Now, I'm sure there are clusters of airports in the developing world that don't have any real navigational aids near them, so maybe in those cases a newbie pilot might have an excuse. But this is certainly not the case almost anywhere that scheduled passenger flights on modern airliners fly.
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
 
User avatar
RobK
Posts: 3212
Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2004 1:43 pm

Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport ?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 6:48 pm

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 enough to get the pax off ?  Big grin

Or is it another urban myth?

RK
 
DeskPilot
Posts: 704
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:02 am

RE: Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 9:38 pm

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) runway 35. ATC warned the pilot that he was lined up on the wrong airport and runway !
By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?
 
prosa
Posts: 5389
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2001 3:24 am

RE: Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 10:27 pm

A quick question: what is a gasometer?

A huge tank used to store natural gas.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
Clipper002
Posts: 659
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2004 4:24 am

RE: Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport?

Thu Sep 16, 2004 12:46 am

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 know where you got your information where all pilots are trained to use all of their navigational equipment on every approach but I will tell you that is completely incorrect. Having been through training at PA, AA, DL and WO I can tell you that none of these carriers taught their pilots to use all of their navigational equipment on each approach. If that were the case, there would be no such thing as a visual approach.

Ed
Ed
 
Skyguy
Posts: 467
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2004 1:55 am

RE: Plane Stuck After Landing At Wrong Airport?

Thu Sep 16, 2004 2:55 am

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 visibility on visual landing. Aircraft got damaged as it slightly overan the short runway on landing. DC-8 was completely dismantled and shipped back to Japan where it was deemed a total loss.

Interestingly, (and very tragically) JAL8012 crashed 15km short of the runway in New Delhi 3 months later.

[Edited 2004-09-15 20:01:40]
"Those who talk, do not know, and those who know, do not talk."

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Aesma, Andy33, Baidu [Spider], blooBirdie, eclipz, gloom, Google [Bot], ha763, L410Turbolet, LAX772LR, lcycs300, Mani87, N14AZ, neutrino, nighthawk, pompos, sq256, strfyr51, thomasphoto60, tvh, UAinAUS, whitefalcon and 210 guests