Poll: Have You Ever Landed, Taken Off Or Lined Up On The Wrong Runway?


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  1. As a student I once got confused in the traffic pattern and started flying downwind for the wrong runway. But my instructor told me to always check that my heading matches what I expect.
    When someone lands on a taxiway it baffles me. The lighting and markings are totally different!

  2. It’s not hard to do. Especially when some runways are configured 20-02 and 13-31. I personally have done it. And I know a lot of others have too. It’s all part of the learning curve. And hopefully one learns from their mistakes.

  3. I served aboard 4 U.S. Navy carriers in my career. It was not uncommon, especially during EMCON (restricted emission) flight operations and war at sea operational training for an “opposing carrier” aircraft to line up visually and land on our deck without anyone saying a word- as is what you do in an EMCON silent operation. It was when the aircraft stopped that most realized the pilot’s error and it was an opposing force aircraft. Quickly getting spray paint and various squadron and ship logo templates, the plane was quickly maimed by the crew’s effort and then pilot was directed to the catapults and quickly launched to return to his home carrier, albeit a little red faced on landing. I assume one must ignore the ship’s large white hull number painted on the island and the flight deck.

  4. Flying into Burlington VT for the first time from a trip to Canada. Was given 19 and lined up for 15 (the longer runway). Thankfully, they corrected me as I am sure they get that quite a bit. After landing, 4 – F-16s took off right behind me the opposite direction on 33. They were waiting for me to land and clear the runway.
    If that wasn’t a well learned lesson, I don’t know what was. Never do that again!!

  5. Student cross country a million year ago.

    Hayward to Merced.

    Merced has 2 airports.

    KMCE has a 6,000′ runway.

    KMER has a 12,000′ runway.

    They were both uncontrolled when I did that flight.

    Apparently they look the same from a 152…