User avatar
N328KF
Topic Author
Posts: 5946
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 3:50 am

Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:28 pm

A Delta A320, bound for Rapid City, South Dakota (RAP) accidentally landed at Ellsworth Air Force Base (RCA) instead. Ellsworth is a Global Strike Command (formerly SAC) base, housing B-1B Lancers.

"A passenger interviewed by the Journal said she and her fellow passengers waited about 2½ hours in the plane at Ellsworth, from about 8:45 p.m. until about 11:15 p.m., where they were ordered to pull down their window shades as military personnel walked through the cabin with at least one firearm and a dog."

That'll happen at a base with nuclear weapons.

https://twitter.com/NTSB/status/751485940280033280
http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/ ... f37e8.html
Last edited by N328KF on Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.”
-Donny Miller
 
User avatar
KarelXWB
Posts: 26968
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:13 pm

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:29 pm

How do you "accidentally" land on the wrong airport?
What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived.
 
trex8
Posts: 5435
Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2002 9:04 am

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:34 pm

Did the base ATC know they were landing? Somewhat disconcerting, I mean this could have been a bomb laden plane or filled with armed jihadis.
 
User avatar
N328KF
Topic Author
Posts: 5946
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 3:50 am

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:39 pm

Looking at the maps, both Ellsworth and Rapid City Airport have a single runway, and they are oriented similarly. My guess is that everything except the location itself "seemed right."
“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.”
-Donny Miller
 
greg787
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 2:57 pm

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:39 pm

 
User avatar
jetjack74
Posts: 6649
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 6:35 am

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:56 pm

It isn't the first time this has happened. It happened back in 2004, same aircraft type, except it was an NWA aircraft.
Made from jets!
 
User avatar
hOMSaR
Posts: 2291
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:47 am

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:58 pm

KRAP, indeed.

Every once in a while you'll get a story of a plane landing at the wrong airport (sometimes wrong city), or on a taxiway instead of a runway. Just be glad things turned out okay (well, maybe for everyone except the pilots).
The plural of Airbus is Airbuses. Airbii is not a word.
There is no 787-800, nor 787-900 or 747-800. It's 787-8, 787-9, and 747-8.
A321neoLR is also unnecessary. It's simply A321LR.
Airplanes don't have isles, they have aisles.
 
User avatar
N717TW
Posts: 548
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 9:24 pm

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:03 pm

This has definitely happened with Delta before. There was the 737 that missed LEX and flew into FFT back in 1987 and I feel as if there was something even more similar in Florida where the flight missed TPA or MCO and landed at an air force base instead (missing the old Orlando and landing at McCoy would make sense).
 
User avatar
N328KF
Topic Author
Posts: 5946
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 3:50 am

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:22 pm

N717TW wrote:
This has definitely happened with Delta before. There was the 737 that missed LEX and flew into FFT back in 1987 and I feel as if there was something even more similar in Florida where the flight missed TPA or MCO and landed at an air force base instead (missing the old Orlando and landing at McCoy would make sense).


The big difference here is that Ellsworth houses nuclear warheads, and everyone is very fortunate that this incident did not end badly.
“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.”
-Donny Miller
 
trex8
Posts: 5435
Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2002 9:04 am

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:28 pm

hOMSaR wrote:
KRAP, indeed.

Every once in a while you'll get a story of a plane landing at the wrong airport (sometimes wrong city), or on a taxiway instead of a runway. Just be glad things turned out okay (well, maybe for everyone except the pilots).


Landing at a "wrong" airport is one thing, landing at a military base which should have security especially a nuke one is another thing. The N koreans wont need icbms, they'll just rent a cessna and put the nuke on it and it'll probably be more accurate than any icbm they could ever make if they can just land and taxi it to those B1 hangars
 
User avatar
FLIHGH
Posts: 253
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:19 pm

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:33 pm

N328KF wrote:
Looking at the maps, both Ellsworth and Rapid City Airport have a single runway, and they are oriented similarly. My guess is that everything except the location itself "seemed right."

Looks like RAP has 2 runways- 14/32 and 5/23.
 
User avatar
exFWAOONW
Posts: 704
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:32 pm

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:56 pm

It doesn't take much to mistype a waypoint in the nav system. 842pm, the sum would still be up, were they actually hand-flying? (if the sun was still up, the beacon with the red instead of green light wouldn't have been on to provide another visual clue that things weren't quite right.)
Is just me, or is flying not as much fun anymore?
 
User avatar
Acey
Posts: 1122
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:06 pm

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:13 pm

Couple hours later, 11 min flight over to RAP.

Image
If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live. -- Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
INFINITI329
Posts: 2502
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:53 am

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:27 pm

jetjack74 wrote:
It isn't the first time this has happened. It happened back in 2004, same aircraft type, except it was an NWA aircraft.


This is technically the same thing seeing how all DL 320s are ex NWA and NWA is now Delta. Dont flame me to bad for this.
 
BravoOne
Posts: 3920
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:27 pm

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:33 pm

This has happened any number of times in the past. As a matter of fact when RAP tore up their runways some years back the airlines used Ellsworth AFB for period of time.

They have had nukes at Ellsworth AFB since they flew the mighty B36 out of there in the 50's. I'm confident that their security details are well planned for all contingencies such as this.

A little time off for the crew if found guilty of not following SOPS, should put this one to bed...until it happens the next time.
 
b747400erf
Posts: 3135
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:33 am

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:37 pm

trex8 wrote:
hOMSaR wrote:
KRAP, indeed.

Every once in a while you'll get a story of a plane landing at the wrong airport (sometimes wrong city), or on a taxiway instead of a runway. Just be glad things turned out okay (well, maybe for everyone except the pilots).


Landing at a "wrong" airport is one thing, landing at a military base which should have security especially a nuke one is another thing. The N koreans wont need icbms, they'll just rent a cessna and put the nuke on it and it'll probably be more accurate than any icbm they could ever make if they can just land and taxi it to those B1 hangars


What am I reading here? Landing at a base without being shot at means you can just jump out of a plane, grab a few weapons sitting on the ramp and leave? Save these comments for youtube videos please.
 
nikeherc
Posts: 670
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:40 pm

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:14 pm

As I understand it, aircraft no longer fly training missions with prime warheads onboard. They also do not routinely sit on alert status, with armed aircraft on the ramp. Therefore, the nukes are in storage bunkers inside a double fence with dogs between the fences. There are armed security forces on guard 24/7.

In the old days, SAC bases were guarded by Nike Hercules missile sites and there were NORAD aircraft on runway alert. In those days landing at A SAC base was an even more serious occurrence than landing at a bomber base is today.

Of course, McCoy was a SAC base with Armed B-52s even when it was also the primary airport for Orlando, pre mouse.
DC6 to 777 and most things in between
 
rfields5421
Posts: 6026
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:45 am

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:37 pm

trex8 wrote:
Did the base ATC know they were landing? Somewhat disconcerting, I mean this could have been a bomb laden plane or filled with armed jihadis.


Somewhat like the previous event, and the Dreamliner landing at Jabbar - the base ATC knows which flight it is , where it is flying (the normal approach is for the aircraft landing at KRAP to be at 4,900 ft (1,700 ft above KRAP runway elevation) when about 1/4 mile west of the KRCA runway.

The base ATC watches every commercial flight landing at KRAP Rwy 14 overfly the base.

While it is a nuclear weapons capable base, there is almost no possibility of damaging the nukes or critical infrastructure with a single aircraft/ bomb, no matter how large.

The way the B-1 bombers are arranged on the ramp - it might be possible to take out two or three.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

My question is was the aircraft an ex-NWA bird?
Not all who wander are lost.
 
User avatar
seabosdca
Posts: 6588
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:33 am

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:40 pm

My question is was the aircraft an ex-NWA bird?


Every Delta A320 is an ex-NWA bird.
 
trex8
Posts: 5435
Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2002 9:04 am

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:55 pm

b747400erf wrote:

What am I reading here? Landing at a base without being shot at means you can just jump out of a plane, grab a few weapons sitting on the ramp and leave? Save these comments for youtube videos please.


The point is not to steal anything, how would an icbm attack do that anyway,?The point is to attack and destroy/damage a vital nuclear military facility.

If the base ATC had no clue that plane was going to be landing on their runway till it literally happened I would suggest that poses serious questions about security. Because next time it may not be an innocent lost civilian airliner but a real terrorist threat. Rfields 5421 say they are watching all those approaches and thats somewhat reassuring but they dont let planes fly over the White House but Global Strike Command lets anyone land on their main runway at a major base after lining up with a nearby commercial airport then asks questions who and why are you there?? (But then this is an organisation in recent years where they dont seem to know when they have nukes loaded on planes who are flying around and who have sent nuke parts to (fortunately) allies labelled as chopper parts. Might be too little too late one day.

They have people on the roof of the White House with Stingers, maybe they should have someone at Ellsworth at least ask questions of an unauthorized aircraft heading its way (albeit with only a minute or less notice) why are you here or heading this way and get the hell out of here quick. Its no less time than planes from LGA and the White House or The Capitol have.
 
DDR
Posts: 1693
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:09 pm

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:04 pm

Why wouldn't the AFB just radio the DL plane and let them know they were landing at the wrong airport?
 
Tan Flyr
Posts: 1706
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2000 11:07 pm

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:07 pm

As I recall, even back before the Delta FFT incident, either just before Western was bought by Delta or just after a 737 landed at the wrong airport in Wyoming somewhere..been 30 years ago or so..perhaps someone else recalls the details.

But DL seems to have an erratic history of runway issues.
 
aviatorcraig
Posts: 560
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:14 pm

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:15 pm

Civilian plane lands a military airfield by mistake...

It's happened before and will happen again.

It happens the other way around as well...

https://youtu.be/nkuqsd_tRHw

:mrgreen: :_)
707 727 Caravelle Comet Concorde Dash-7 DC-9 DC-10 One-Eleven Trident Tristar Tu-134 VC-10 Viscount plus boring stuff!
 
BravoOne
Posts: 3920
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:27 pm

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:40 pm

b747400erf wrote:
trex8 wrote:
hOMSaR wrote:
KRAP, indeed.


What am I reading here? Landing at a base without being shot at means you can just jump out of a plane, grab a few weapons sitting on the ramp and leave? Save these comments for youtube videos please.



So much drama ref. I think I have asked this before but what is your area of experience regarding this subject? Other than disliking anything American you are hard to figure out.
 
flyabr
Posts: 864
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 11:42 am

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:41 pm

Is there nothing on the plane that tells the pilots, "hey dufus, you're landing at the wrong airport"? :mrgreen:
Last edited by flyabr on Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
deltal1011man
Posts: 5349
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 9:17 am

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:55 pm

N717TW wrote:
This has definitely happened with Delta before. There was the 737 that missed LEX and flew into FFT back in 1987 and I feel as if there was something even more similar in Florida where the flight missed TPA or MCO and landed at an air force base instead (missing the old Orlando and landing at McCoy would make sense).

pretty sure Delta has a 727 land at MacDill AFB in the 1980s. Was going to TPA.
 
maxpower1954
Posts: 1067
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:14 am

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:07 am

Since you guys asked...here's a list current to about 10 years ago.

http://www.iasa.com.au/folders/Safety_I ... -ways.html
 
User avatar
LeCoqFrancais
Posts: 418
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:03 pm

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:41 am

Here is the Aviation Herald report:
http://avherald.com/h?article=49adef6e
--
Talk about being a KRAPy day for the crew! :mrgreen: :lol:
Sébastien C. Tourillon
 
User avatar
jetblastdubai
Posts: 1914
Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:23 am

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:20 am

DDR wrote:
Why wouldn't the AFB just radio the DL plane and let them know they were landing at the wrong airport?


The DL jet would have been on the RAP tower frequency and not the Air Force Base frequency. Unless they (DL) were monitoring 121.5, there'd be no way the AFB controllers could contact the DL plane.

This does bring up the same issue with WN in Branson MO. Did the tower controller that cleared the aircraft to land actually see the aircraft visually or on a radar display? Did the radar controller monitor the flight path of the plane to make sure it was headed in the right direction and not below any MVA/MSA on the way to it's destination? Even on a visual approach, the radar controller (if there is an operational radar) should monitor the aircraft to make sure it's headed in the right direction.
 
User avatar
par13del
Posts: 9931
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:16 am

So the two runways are aligned, one would think that there would be an SOP if an unknown a/c - not military traffic - is on landing approach the first thing the tower would do is to switch to the frequency of the civilian airport up the road and have the a/c do a touch and go, especially if it is so serious as to hold the a/c for a couple hours, do an armed inspection.......probably should have arrested the pilots and have DL fly in a replacement crew.
 
CFMitch56
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 10:29 pm

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:31 am

N328KF wrote:
That'll happen at a base with nuclear weapons.


Ellsworth has not been a nuclear missile base since the mid-90s, and the B-1 is no longer a nuclear equipped bomber. That hardware was removed to comply with the START treaty.
 
mtnwest1979
Posts: 2211
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2005 4:23 am

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Sat Jul 09, 2016 3:05 am

Tan Flyr wrote:
As I recall, even back before the Delta FFT incident, either just before Western was bought by Delta or just after a 737 landed at the wrong airport in Wyoming somewhere..been 30 years ago or so..perhaps someone else recalls the details.

But DL seems to have an erratic history of runway issues.



It was WA 737 that landed in Buffalo,WY when it was headed to Sheridan,WY.
Riddle: Which lasts longer, a start-up airline or a start-up football league?
 
jetmatt777
Posts: 4147
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 2:16 am

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:11 pm

This isn't like a video game or Hollywood thriller where they come out on the runway with missile launchers and spike strips and heavy duty explosives to destroy the plane as it approaches.

ATC, especially military is very professional. Part of that professionalism is not being reactionary or trigger happy.

They would see the plane approaching, pull the flight plan and see it is filed to RAP. They would call the tower at RAP to see what is going on. Given the circumstances they would rather deal with the situation on the ground. If it was a private plane with no flight plan they may consider it a threat and deal with it in a more abrasive manner.

The AFB tower probably assumed any or all of the 3:

They had a sudden mechanical emergency late in the approach to RAP requiring getting on the ground ASAP at all costs. May include a radio failure or no time to tune radio to AFB freq. to explain lack of communication with the AFB.

They were landing at RAP but coming in lower than usual--up to a point that it was too late for the AFB tower to get a hold of the RAP tower and get the plane to the right airport.

They were simply lost and better to deal with it on the ground.

Another scenario is that if the AFB tower was not busy, not expecting any traffic in the next few minutes, the controllers eyes may have been inside the cab and talking with another controller and not realizing a plane was landing at their facility. I've been in several control towers (including a military tower) when the airport is dead, and the controllers are definitely not just staring out the window waiting for something to happen. They are listening to their radio but may also be having small talk with a coworker and occasionally glancing out the window or to their radar display.
Lighten up while you still can, don't even try to understand, just find a place to make your stand and take it easy
 
cat3appr50
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:44 pm

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Sat Jul 09, 2016 4:30 pm

Don’t know if this was a DAL crew who had never flown the KMSP to KRAP route before. If not their first time, then it’s more difficult to understand this error.

Prior to the TOD, there should have been a discussion of the close proximity of KRCA (Ellsworth AFB) to KRAP, and the need to have the RAP VOR set up and the KRAP RNAV 14 approach set up on the FMC and ND, whether visual landing or RNAV landing, for (situational awareness) navigational guidance.

On the downwind leg prior to the turn to the SW for final heading to ZUDIM WP (FAF RNAV 14 KRAP), both airports KRCA and KRAP are clearly visible on the left side (the WX METAR at landing was CLR and 10SM Vis, no ceiling, negligible clouds, just after sunset, not dark). The much longer runway of KRCA (and military layout) compared to KRAP is clearly apparent.

KRAP ZUDIM RNAV FAF is around 5.2 DME from KRAP. When they completed the SW base turn and were at the intersection of the KRCA Rwy centerline they were around 2.6 DME from KRCA, 9.0 DME KRAP, and 14 DME RAP VOR. This, along with both airports being shown on the ND and the KRAP RNAV 14 waypoints on the ND should have provided the necessary situational awareness, in addition to both airports visible. The final approach course for KRCA is 130 Deg, while the final approach course for KRAP is 144 Deg. This should also have provided necessary situational awareness.

Likely going to be an issue with CRM, situational awareness, having available navigational aids set up in the FMC and on the ND even if visual approach, and descent planning.
 
barney captain
Posts: 2315
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2001 5:47 pm

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:55 pm

That's an impressive use of a lot of acronyms and technical jargon, but all of that literally goes out the window on a visual approach. What typically happens in these cases is simply getting focused on the sight picture out the window and getting the aircraft configured. This is usually compounded by the fact that the crew suddenly finds themselves high on the approach - because they've locked on to a runway that is suddenly closer than they expected. All attention is focused outside and correcting the sight picture - and certainly not at looking at NDs or waypoints.

These are almost always a human factor issue, and no amount of programming would have helped.
Southeast Of Disorder
 
Q
Posts: 975
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2000 10:29 am

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:40 pm

Do all pilots know about the news previously wrong airport in the past? Does airline passing out to all pilots for the information accuracy or error or report warning? All pilots should know about this information before you are going anywhere flying for safe in the future. How come Delta pilots didn't aware of what was happen in the past NWA A319 landed wrong airport same airport in Rapid City a few years ago? Something is wrong with Airlines not communication well with all pilots. Isn't?

Q
 
amcnd
Posts: 174
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2015 4:19 am

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:50 pm

Having flown there a lot. ATC allways askes if you have both airports in sight... Plus the line on the MFD wouldn't be lined up... But i can see how it could happen...
 
rfields5421
Posts: 6026
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:45 am

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:23 pm

First - the tower isn't going to come on the civilian frequency unannounced and scream for the pilots to go past the airport or do a TNG as the aircraft is about to flare for landing. The professionals realize that such a radio call is likely to create confusion, distraction and possibly create a dangerous situation, or even a crash.

Second, the base tower knows there is an aircraft on approach to KRAP, but due to the runway alignments and limited distance from the centerlines and the parallax issue of a runway centerline several hundred feet from the control tower, they are not going to be able to visually tell the aircraft is setup for the wrong airport until very near touchdown.

Third, the base, and all USAF/ USN/ USMC military bases do have a protocol / procedure to deal with unauthorized landings. 1) The aircraft is isolated from critical base facilities (if an aircraft attempts to taxi where it is not told to taxi - it will be stopped with force if necessary), 2) civilian ATC is notified that an aircraft has landed without authorization at the base, 3) base security forces will check the aircraft to see that nothing dangerous is on the aircraft - this will include an armed military police officer and a bomb sniffing dog both in the cabin and the hold.

I have only heard on one possibly hostile unauthorized landing at an airport/ military base. I have heard of dozens of accidental landings at US military bases. The US military certainly doesn't want to destroy a civilian aircraft full of passengers (they've done that once), but the presumption that it is an accident still requires certain established security procedures.

Most commercial pilots in the US should be aware of the type of scrutiny they will receive if they accidentally land at the wrong airport - a military base. Frankly, their bigger concern will be whether or not they just lost their jobs with the airline.

In some instances, such as the WN aircraft - the airline insists on bringing in a new crew to move the aircraft.
Not all who wander are lost.
 
holeham
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri May 30, 2014 12:06 am

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:48 pm

And you've had USAF planes land at civilian airports by mistake as well. Just a few years ago there was a C-17 that was supposed to land at MacDill AFB and landed by mistake at Peter O'Knight (KTPF) just a few miles north of MacDill. There are a number of videos on YouTube showing the C-17 taking off.
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19316
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Sat Jul 09, 2016 8:02 pm

jetjack74 wrote:
It isn't the first time this has happened. It happened back in 2004, same aircraft type, except it was an NWA aircraft.


This is the 2004 thread. Discussion probably almost identical to this thread.
viewtopic.php?t=269905
 
Q
Posts: 975
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2000 10:29 am

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Sat Jul 09, 2016 8:48 pm

Why can't FAA orders some airports which are very similar runways and close within a few miles if we put the white lights letter ICAO each end of runway before touchdown "KRAP" and "KRCA"? That's would be very helpful pilots see it before land the airport. We don't have to put all USA airports! Just find where are similar runways heading and within a few miles each others. Put it there! Why not?

Q
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19316
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:35 pm

This is one of a dozen or so FAA remarks for KRAP:

BE ALERT DO NOT MISTAKE ELLSWORTH AFB, LOCATED 6.5 NM NNW FOR RAPID CITY RGNL
 
Caveman1
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:12 am

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:26 am

Military airfields rotating beacon is Green-White-White

The RCA tower may have been closed so they may not have been there to see it.

RAP tower should have been open, AFD shows that they are open from 0600-2200. If their ATC missed it, thats not a good thing. Not to drag down on contract facilities, sometimes their staffing is only one person in the tower.

At the time of the landing, if I remember right, is the usual time the weather observation is being made and reported to the approach control and flight service. Not an excuse but a distraction.

RCA has the approach control and should have noticed the airliner going to the wrong airport even if they were on RAP tower freq and called RAP tower to tell the aircrew of their position and error.

As was said earlier, the aircrew was most likely focused outside the aircraft on their sight picture for landing. Focused on the Big Pretty Runway. I'M sure CRM will be reviewed. I hope that all thats required of the crew is extra training on effective CRM. I personally prefer someone who has made mistakes and learned from them than someone who has never made a mistake and cant properly deal with one when it will happen.
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 22948
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Sun Jul 10, 2016 1:17 am

There's a lot of KRAP in your posting, sir! :-)
cat3appr50 wrote:
Prior to the TOD, there should have been a discussion of the close proximity of KRCA (Ellsworth AFB) to KRAP, and the need to have the RAP VOR set up and the KRAP RNAV 14 approach set up on the FMC and ND, whether visual landing or RNAV landing, for (situational awareness) navigational guidance.

On the downwind leg prior to the turn to the SW for final heading to ZUDIM WP (FAF RNAV 14 KRAP), both airports KRCA and KRAP are clearly visible on the left side (the WX METAR at landing was CLR and 10SM Vis, no ceiling, negligible clouds, just after sunset, not dark). The much longer runway of KRCA (and military layout) compared to KRAP is clearly apparent.

KRAP ZUDIM RNAV FAF is around 5.2 DME from KRAP. When they completed the SW base turn and were at the intersection of the KRCA Rwy centerline they were around 2.6 DME from KRCA, 9.0 DME KRAP, and 14 DME RAP VOR. This, along with both airports being shown on the ND and the KRAP RNAV 14 waypoints on the ND should have provided the necessary situational awareness, in addition to both airports visible. The final approach course for KRCA is 130 Deg, while the final approach course for KRAP is 144 Deg. This should also have provided necessary situational awareness.

Likely going to be an issue with CRM, situational awareness, having available navigational aids set up in the FMC and on the ND even if visual approach, and descent planning.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
BravoOne
Posts: 3920
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:27 pm

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Sun Jul 10, 2016 1:56 am

There is an Army airfield down by El Paso that sets you up for one these life altering moments as well. Not sure how many airliners have mistakenly landed there but I would bet more than a few. Troutdale up in the PDX area is another one made famous by UAL in a DC8, no less. S%$t happens once in awhile. No reason to destroy two careers if there was no damage or injury.
 
D L X
Posts: 12654
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 3:30 am

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Sun Jul 10, 2016 3:14 am

N328KF wrote:
N717TW wrote:
The big difference here is that Ellsworth houses nuclear warheads, and everyone is very fortunate that this incident did not end badly.

Because they could have hit a nuclear weapon and blown up Rapid City?

That's not how those weapons work.
 
N757ST
Posts: 932
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2002 6:00 am

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:23 am

barney captain wrote:
That's an impressive use of a lot of acronyms and technical jargon, but all of that literally goes out the window on a visual approach. What typically happens in these cases is simply getting focused on the sight picture out the window and getting the aircraft configured. This is usually compounded by the fact that the crew suddenly finds themselves high on the approach - because they've locked on to a runway that is suddenly closer than they expected. All attention is focused outside and correcting the sight picture - and certainly not at looking at NDs or waypoints.

These are almost always a human factor issue, and no amount of programming would have helped.



Barney, in a modern EFIS equipped aircraft there really is little excuse for this now days. I know you are a pilot, I am too so I have sympathy for the crew. That said... how many approaches, especially in the bus , visual or not, do you fly without any instrument back up be it an ils tuned, an RNAV approach programmed, etc? I have 6000 hours on the a320 and I'm shocked they could have lost SA with all the tools available to them. I can't think of an occasion that I have ever flown an approach in the bus without some kind of vertical guidance back up. The bus even has an artificial visual "donut" as long as a runway is selected in the fmgc.. the runway is required to be programmed in the fmgc as part of SOP for my carrier and I'd imagine delta requires that too... One things for sure, these guys will be doing some time in the schoolhouse.
 
aklrno
Posts: 1545
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:18 pm

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:38 am

jetblastdubai wrote:
DDR wrote:
Why wouldn't the AFB just radio the DL plane and let them know they were landing at the wrong airport?


The DL jet would have been on the RAP tower frequency and not the Air Force Base frequency. Unless they (DL) were monitoring 121.5, there'd be no way the AFB controllers could contact the DL plane.

This does bring up the same issue with WN in Branson MO. Did the tower controller that cleared the aircraft to land actually see the aircraft visually or on a radar display? Did the radar controller monitor the flight path of the plane to make sure it was headed in the right direction and not below any MVA/MSA on the way to it's destination? Even on a visual approach, the radar controller (if there is an operational radar) should monitor the aircraft to make sure it's headed in the right direction.

I understand why the AFB may not be able to contact the aircraft, but why not RAP? Did they not notice something was amiss? Is Rapid City a busy place that time of day?

Years ago I was intending to land at MYF in San Diego and told the tower I was entering downwind. The tower's response was "not at my airport" . Hard as it seems to be to confuse them, I was headed to NAS Miramar. The next time I contacted MYF the comment was "That's better".

Things like that convinced me I was a better passenger than pilot. Surprisingly that incident and the time a B-52 flew UNDER me as I approached an MOA ( I don't think I was quite inside it yet) never resulted in the dreaded message from the FAA or an intercept.
 
blacksoviet
Posts: 1622
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:50 am

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Sun Jul 10, 2016 9:25 am

What would they have done had the dog found a bomb onboard?
 
covert
Posts: 1528
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2001 1:02 am

Re: Delta A320 lands at Ellsworth AFB

Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:30 am

As has already been mentioned, it's extremely easy to land at the wrong airport at night when the weather is VFR when they are that close together. Once you 'think' you have THE runway in sight, you tend to just focus on that with your attention until it's too late. There are ways to alleviate the issue, but each month there is about on average 1 incident where air carriers worldwide land at a different airport than intended. In GA, it happens basically everyday.

I think this might have been mentioned already, but Ellsworth doesn't have any nukes. After the Cold War draw down the nukes got consolidated at a few key bases in order to save money on security and to comply with international treaties. Some of you guys' info is so out of date. Regardless, USAF aircraft are a PL-1 resource, nuke capable or not, security forces will still pin you face down if you breach the secure area.
none

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos