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skywaymanaz
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Late 80's Diversion To Remote CO Airport

Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:50 am

I was talking with some pilot friends and conversation reminded me of this incident. Sometime in the late 1980's a passenger jet had an emergency during a red eye flight. They diverted to a remote western Colorado airport. After they landed there was no one at the airport. The emergency wasn't serious enough to warrant an evacuation so everyone stayed on the plane until morning. When the FBO staff arrived they must have been surprised to see that plane there.

I did some digging online looking for this but keep coming up empty. I want to say it was a Northwest plane but I wouldn't swear to it. I do remember it being a minor blip on the news at the time. I'm sure if it happened today someone would have called local authorities with a cell phone but there might still be a few really remote areas with no bars. Anyone have any specifics on this or similar incidents?
 
Max Q
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RE: Late 80's Diversion To Remote CO Airport

Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:58 am

While being as vague as possible you are asking for specifics


A little more info is needed !
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
skywaymanaz
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RE: Late 80's Diversion To Remote CO Airport

Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:30 am

Sorry that is all I could recall and probably why all my internet searches failed  
 
flyjoe
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RE: Late 80's Diversion To Remote CO Airport

Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:56 pm

The only one I can remember was the TWA flight that was bound for Steamboat, but landed in Craig in error. While it wasn't the planned destination, it wasn't related to a medical diversion,
 
LoneStarMike
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RE: Late 80's Diversion To Remote CO Airport

Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:56 pm

I'm wondering if you are remembering 2 separate incidents - 15 years (and several thousand miles) apart - as one single event.

TWA jet unknowingly lands at wrong airport

The TWA incident was March 14 2001 (not in the 1980's) and although it did happen in Colorado, it wasn't due to an emergency, nor did the landing take place at night. (It landed in the middle of the afternoon.)

Jumbo Jet Stranded On Pacific Island After Emergency Landing

That incident did happen in the 1980's (September of 1986) and it did involve a NW flight. The pilot made an emergency landing because he thought there was a fire on board. There was no fire - just a faulty warning light. The plane couldn't take off again because its two cargo area fire extinguishers had been discharged. NW had to charter a plane to fly two new extinguishers and mechanics to check out the cockpit warning alarm to Midway from Honolulu. It happened at a "remote" airport but it wasn't in Colorado. Not sure what time of day the plane landed, but passengers most likely had to spent the night on the plane because the only thing on the island was a small air facility and base and a meteorological station.

LoneStarMike
 
Slcpilot
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RE: Late 80's Diversion To Remote CO Airport

Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:13 pm

I think there was an American Airlines MD-80 that landed at Bryce Canyon Airport in Utah in the 1990s due to a fire indication, or something like that.

Could that have been what your thinking of?

Cheers!

SLCPilot
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skywaymanaz
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RE: Late 80's Diversion To Remote CO Airport

Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:18 pm

Defiantely was not the TWA incident. I do remember that one. It's been discussed before on threads where planes landed at the wrong airport by mistake. I can see how it happens but I've never done that . . . yet   I hadn't heard of the Northwest plane at Midway but that probably wasn't pleasant either. Reminds me of the Delta flight (ex NW 747-400) that landed there too. I'm pretty sure the one I'm remembering was a red eye that had a mechanical problem and divereted to the nearest airfield that could handle them. It made an impression on me because I thought that must have really been terrible to be marooned in the middle of nowhere like that on a plane overnight. Also seemed like a very nerve wracking approach to make at night. If it happened today I'm sure there'd be threads on here about it. Anyhoo hopefully I'm not remembering something with Karen Black or Joe Patroni or unicorns.
 
skywaymanaz
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RE: Late 80's Diversion To Remote CO Airport

Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:19 pm

Quoting Slcpilot (Reply 5):
Could that have been what your thinking of?

Oh that might have been! I wanted to say it was an MD-80 or DC-9 something so maybe that is it.

[Edit] Maybe not, I think I found that online as American 2821 DEN-LAX on October 6, 2000. Although that really did sound close but about 10 years later then what I'm recalling.

[Edited 2013-06-23 08:30:53]
 
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TWA772LR
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RE: Late 80's Diversion To Remote CO Airport

Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:20 pm

A National (I think) 727 was hijacked and landed at Brazoria county airport, in the 80s, maybe 70s.
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SPREE34
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RE: Late 80's Diversion To Remote CO Airport

Sun Jun 23, 2013 5:41 pm

Northwest DC-9. It landed at the Monte Vista airport, near Alamosa (ALS) Colorado. I was an ATC at Denver ARTCC in that area back then.

http://www.nytimes.com/1989/10/19/us...rippled-airliner-lands-safely.html
I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
 
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pwm2txlhopper
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RE: Late 80's Diversion To Remote CO Airport

Sun Jun 23, 2013 5:48 pm

SPREE34 beat me to it by a couple minutes. After searching the Google News archives for ten minutes, I found the following article from the Eugene Register Guard, October 19,1989.


http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...ssenger+spend+night+on+plane&hl=en
 
N104UA
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RE: Late 80's Diversion To Remote CO Airport

Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:00 pm

I remember reading about this (Born and raised in Colorado). I think it was a CO 757 and if I remember correctly it was the plane lost all power and landed at night in a small airport somewhere in the western part of the state, tried a Denver post search and came up
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skywaymanaz
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RE: Late 80's Diversion To Remote CO Airport

Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:18 pm

Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 9):
Northwest DC-9. It landed at the Monte Vista airport, near Alamosa (ALS) Colorado.

Yup that's it! Thanks guys   sorry I couldn't remember enough details to find it on my own.

Guess that incident was a lot more serious than I remember after all but that is definately it.

[Edited 2013-06-23 11:22:41]
 
e38
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RE: Late 80's Diversion To Remote CO Airport

Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:12 pm

There is actually a little more to the story than what is described in the articles posted by SPREE34 (Reply 9) and pwm2txlhopper (Reply 10).

According to some "stories" that circulate throughout the aviation community, the emergency that led to the Northwest DC9 landing in Alamosa was caused by the aircraft's captain.

As I understand it, the aircraft initially had a simple generator failure on one of the engines. The plane was perfectly capable of flying on the remaining generator and it would have been appropriate to start up the APU as a backup, with plenty of time to divert to a suitable airport--perhaps Denver, Colorado Springs, or Grand Junction, for example.

However, as the story goes, the Captain and First Officer did not get along very well and the captain was not a big supporter of CRM or the "crew concept" of operating a commercial airliner (I'm not sure CRM even existed at the time, as we know it today).

After the generator failed, without even consulting the first officer or referring to the Abnormal Procedures Guide, the captain quickly reached up to turn OFF the faulty generator, but grabbed the wrong switch and turned off the good generator by mistake. At that point he had unintentionally given himself dual generator failure and the aircraft was now flying on battery power only.

I don't know specific details, but somehow, they were not able to get the good generator back on-line and the battery was not able to supply enough power to start up the APU. So, they were faced with only 30 minutes (or less) of electrical power available--battery only.

With very little crew coordination--or none at all--the Captain decided to divert to Alamosa and in the haste of the emergency descent, the first officer either forgot or did not have time to reset the pressurization system to allow the cabin to be depressurized after landing.

Had the crew exhibited proper crew coordination, CRM, and appropriate reference to published abnormal procedure guidance, the result would have been a planned, controlled, and properly executed descent and divert to a suitable alternate airport.

The Captain was not a hero.

Disclaimer--I don't have any facts of this--simply a story I've heard several times sitting around the table at the FBO on slow days, drinking coffee and trading airplane stories (using both hands of course)!

e38
 
jetjeanes
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RE: Late 80's Diversion To Remote CO Airport

Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:29 pm

Seems like many many years ago a Ual 747 landed at a very short field during an emergency and the pax were bused to another airport and the interior was stripped out and quite a bit of fuel in order to be able to get the plane airborn again due to the mountain terrain and short field but im talking many years back
i can see for 80 miles
 
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falstaff
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RE: Late 80's Diversion To Remote CO Airport

Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:44 pm

Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 9):
Northwest DC-9. It landed at the Monte Vista airport, near Alamosa (ALS) Colorado. I was an ATC at Denver ARTCC in that area back then.

I lived in Colorado at the time and was in the area when that occurred. I remember driving nearby, with my dad, and seeing it, at a good distance. There isn't much out there, just US 160/285.

What NW DC-9 was involved?
My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
 
FATFlyer
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RE: Late 80's Diversion To Remote CO Airport

Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:48 pm

The incident was discussed here a few years ago in another thread.

Here is some NTSB info that is similar to e38's recollections:
http://www.ntsb.gov/aviationquery/br...ef.aspx?ev_id=20001213X29581&key=1

http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/recletters/1991/A91_1_2.pdf

Quoting falstaff (Reply 15):

What NW DC-9 was involved?

N922RW
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citationjet
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RE: Late 80's Diversion To Remote CO Airport

Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:24 pm

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident to be:

THE POOR INFLIGHT PLANNING AND DECISIONS MADE BY THE FLIGHT CREW FOLLOWING THE FAILURE OF THE NUMBER TWO GENERATOR CONSTANT SPEED DRIVE UNAND Irtysh-Avia (Kazakhstan)">IT. CONTRIBUTING FACTORS TO THE ACCIDENT WERE THE FAILURE OF THE NO. 2 GENERATOR CONSTANT SPEED DRIVE UNAND Irtysh-Avia (Kazakhstan)">IT AND THE CREW'S INADVERTENT SHUT DOWN OF THE WRONG GENERATOR WHICH RESULTED IN A COMPLETE LOSS OF ELECTRICAL POWER.

http://www.ntsb.gov/aviationquery/br...ef.aspx?ev_id=20001213X29581&key=1
Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,73G,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773,788.
 
Slcpilot
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RE: Late 80's Diversion To Remote CO Airport

Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:28 am

Quoting e38 (Reply 13):
Disclaimer--I don't have any facts of this--simply a story I've heard several times sitting around the table at the FBO on slow days, drinking coffee and trading airplane stories (using both hands of course)!

This is affectionately known as "hangar flying". With proper pronunciation, the "f" is silent.

 

Cheers!

SLCPilot

Ps. This line is a favorite of a British friend of mine. He still calls us "the Colonies", and I say "that's OK, I still call them the Malvinas!"
I don't like to be fueled by anger, I don't like to be fooled by lust...
 
802flyguy
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RE: Late 80's Diversion To Remote CO Airport

Mon Jun 24, 2013 3:59 am

This incident came up in a thread a while back (can't find it). I remembered it mostly for the inability to de-pressurize the cabin and the use of the crash ax to break a window.

I can imagine quite a few jaws being agape at that little airport.
 
SPREE34
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RE: Late 80's Diversion To Remote CO Airport

Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:12 am

Quoting e38 (Reply 13):
Disclaimer--I don't have any facts of this--

That about covers that.
I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
 
citationjet
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RE: Late 80's Diversion To Remote CO Airport

Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:21 pm

Here is a site that documents (with links) to more than 100 commercial aircraft landings at the wrong airport in the past 50 years:

http://www.thirdamendment.com/wrongway.html
Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,73G,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773,788.
 
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NWAROOSTER
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RE: Late 80's Diversion To Remote CO Airport

Wed Jun 26, 2013 1:28 am

Quoting e38 (Reply 13):

There is actually a little more to the story than what is described in the articles posted by SPREE34 (Reply 9) and pwm2txlhopper (Reply 10).

According to some "stories" that circulate throughout the aviation community, the emergency that led to the Northwest DC9 landing in Alamosa was caused by the aircraft's captain.

As I understand it, the aircraft initially had a simple generator failure on one of the engines. The plane was perfectly capable of flying on the remaining generator and it would have been appropriate to start up the APU as a backup, with plenty of time to divert to a suitable airport--perhaps Denver, Colorado Springs, or Grand Junction, for example.

However, as the story goes, the Captain and First Officer did not get along very well and the captain was not a big supporter of CRM or the "crew concept" of operating a commercial airliner (I'm not sure CRM even existed at the time, as we know it today).

After the generator failed, without even consulting the first officer or referring to the Abnormal Procedures Guide, the captain quickly reached up to turn OFF the faulty generator, but grabbed the wrong switch and turned off the good generator by mistake. At that point he had unintentionally given himself dual generator failure and the aircraft was now flying on battery power only.

I don't know specific details, but somehow, they were not able to get the good generator back on-line and the battery was not able to supply enough power to start up the APU. So, they were faced with only 30 minutes (or less) of electrical power available--battery only.

With very little crew coordination--or none at all--the Captain decided to divert to Alamosa and in the haste of the emergency descent, the first officer either forgot or did not have time to reset the pressurization system to allow the cabin to be depressurized after landing.

Had the crew exhibited proper crew coordination, CRM, and appropriate reference to published abnormal procedure guidance, the result would have been a planned, controlled, and properly executed descent and divert to a suitable alternate airport.

The Captain was not a hero.

Disclaimer--I don't have any facts of this--simply a story I've heard several times sitting around the table at the FBO on slow days, drinking coffee and trading airplane stories (using both hands of course)!
Quoting FATFlyer (Reply 16):

The incident was discussed here a few years ago in another thread.

Here is some NTSB info that is similar to e38's recollections:
http://www.ntsb.gov/aviationquery/br...spx?ev_id=20001213X29581&key=1

http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/recletters/1991/A91_1_2.pdf

Quoting falstaff (Reply 15):

What NW DC-9 was involved?

N922RW

I remember specifically what happened with this Northwest DC-9 incident. This is what happened to the best of my knowledge as I was working at Northwest Airlines at the time.
One of the engine generators failed in flight and the captain disconnected the WRONG engine generator and was forced to make the mentioned emergency landing at the unattended airport and over ran the runway.
The captain FORGOT to depressurise the aircraft manually, which was the only way the aircraft could be depressurised. He tried to open the ONE LEFT door and it would not open. HE then got the fire ax and attempted to break the window in that door with the ax. He failed to do so, but the ax bounced back and hit him in the head. A mechanic, who was flying on a pass then went into the cockpit and manually depressurised the aircraft. The aircraft was then evacuated and the captain went to a pay phone and reported the incident to the authorities.
Needles to say, the captain had a few things to explain.   

[Edited 2013-06-25 18:29:43]
Procrastination Is The Theft Of Time.......
 
ridgid727
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RE: Late 80's Diversion To Remote CO Airport

Wed Jun 26, 2013 2:50 am

Actually it was not Alamosa, but Monte Vista Colorado.

[Edited 2013-06-25 20:11:03]
 
Viscount724
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RE: Late 80's Diversion To Remote CO Airport

Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:07 am

An Air Georgian Beech 1900D landed at Sault Ste.Marie, Michigan (ANJ) by mistake on June 1 instead of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario (YAM). Not only the wrong airport but the wrong country. YAM is roughly 7 miles almost due west of ANJ. Must have been a charter flight since Air Georgian, which mainly operates Beech 1900s as Air Canada Express, doesn't serve YTZ or YAM on a scheduled basis. Crew thus probably not very familiar.

From Transport Canada daily occurrency summary for June 1:

An Air Georgian Beech 1900D (GGN2801) from Toronto/ Billy Bishop, ON (CYTZ) to Sault Ste. Marie, ON (CYAM) was cleared for the VOR runway 30 approach at CYAM and was cleared to land by Tower. Tower confirmed that GGN2801 had landed Sault Ste. Marie, MI (KANJ) in error. GGN2801 departed KANJ VFR and landed CYAM at 1815Z without incident. TSB advised.

[Edited 2013-06-25 20:14:53]

[Edited 2013-06-25 20:17:42]

[Edited 2013-06-25 20:19:13]
 
rfields5421
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RE: Late 80's Diversion To Remote CO Airport

Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:49 am

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 4):
but passengers most likely had to spent the night on the plane because the only thing on the island was a small air facility and base and a meteorological station.

Nope - they were given cots in the base gym. The base chow hall was able to serve hot meals.

While Midway had drawn down by 1986, much of the infrastructure and buildings which supported a population of 3,500 including about 1,300 dependents in the late 70s remained.

Like Shemya, Midway retained the capability to feed and bed down a full plane load of people for many years.
Not all who wander are lost.

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