Pilots Land At Wrong Airports


Considering the navigation resources available to pilots these days it would seem like Wrong Way Corrigan type incidents would be next to impossible, but a military and an airline crew each proved recently that it is still possible to land at the wrong airport. Last Tuesday, a United Express Saab 340 operated by Silver Airways missed its destination of Clarksburg, W.V., by about 10 miles and landed instead at Fairmont Municipal Airport. The 11 passengers were “re-accommodated” to the right airport shortly afterward and the crew has been suspended. “Safety is our top priority, and we have launched an internal review to determine what led to the flight diversion,” Silver Airways COO David Querio said in the statement emailed to CNN. “We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience to passengers aboard flight 4049.” The incident came a few weeks after an Air Force C-17 mistook an executive airport in Tampa for its intended target.

On July 25, the C-17 with 19 crew and 23 passengers set down at Peter O. Knight executive airport’s 3,405-foot runway. The crew had been hoping to land at MacDill Air Force Base where they would have had more than 11,000 feet of concrete. The Air Force still hasn’t explained what happened but it wasted little time getting the highly visible mistake rectified. Crews offloaded everything not needed to safely fly the aircraft and it took off for its original destination a few hours later.