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Ethiopian Airlines 737 Freighter Lands At Wrong Airport

The pilots of an Ethiopian Airlines Cargo 737 flight headed to Ndola, Zambia landed at the wrong airport on Sunday. ( More...

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Tom Bruce 12
McClellan AFB 5 miles east of Sacramento a controller we always watched planes coming in from NE..
when they lined up on MCC "United 123, start your right turn now to enter base leg for rwy 16" always happened at night... you'd see those landing lights turn toward SMF... pilots would usually call on phone and thank us..
Flight 209 now arriving Gate 8, Gate 9, Gate 10...
Haven Rich 4
Didn't a Lufthansa freighter land at KPOU instead of across the Hudson at Stewart AFB back in the '70s? ~'89 I was flying my C-152 following a friend in his C-150 to land at Fitchburg, MA. When he announced he was on final, Moore Army Air Base controller told him the Fitchburg airport was 5 miles further west. That's when my friend said, "The guy behind me borrowed my chart"! We heard laughing on the channel
Jim DeTour 4
News story I saw a few days ago mentioned how a later flight almost landed at the same airport. Since the airport is new it must stand out more at a distance getting the pilots to fixate. Not near as bad as a way back pilot that landed at the wrong airport saying he thought it was wrong having to land long to get over the vehicles on the runway.
A plane landed at the wrong airport reported by a writer reporting the wrong airport.
Copperfield Airport > Copperbelt International Airport
Mike Williams 3
There is an old maybe lie story that a large airplane almost landed at the Hawthorne airport that is several miles southeast of its intended airport of L.A. international. LAX has 2 wider runways near each other and shares the same direction 25 of the Hawthorne airport.
If it really happened the pilot pulled up and landed at the correct airport.
geroldn 3
KCMH and KOSU in Columbus, Ohio 2 airports with runways on the same heading and about 10 miles apart. There have been multiple wrong airport landings at OSU over the years.
John D 3
I understand that when Bolling AFB was still operational in Washington DC, it was occasionally mistook for Washington National Airport, which is on the other side of the Potomac River in Virginia.
Reminds me of an incident years ago with a commercial flight on a late night approach to Nice Côte d'Azur Airport in France. The crew apparently lined up on the bright sodium vapor lights of a main boulevard several miles from the airport. At about 1000 feet, the crew realized their mistake, aborted the landing, poured on the power, and then did a low altitude go-around, hedgehopping over the rooftops of downtown Nice, waking up and scaring the merde out of much of the city.
Jim DeTour 2
Langley AFB Hampton Virginia has a bridge on the south side they had to blackout the lights to inbound aircraft's because at least one mistook the bridge lights for the runway light. F-102 and F-106 Interceptors flew out of there. The runway has since been turned into a taxiway.
patrick baker 8
pilot error takes many forms. Hard to defend any pilot who ignores the "X" painted at the end of his mis-intended runway. Now, what is to be done with the pilots? ground them, retrain them. send them to their rooms?
gilgraham 3
United is hiring...
alex hidveghy 0
A non-starter for them.....
A. Ventura 4
Good thing it was a cargo flight and no passengers, otherwise what would the pilot tell the passengers after they landed? “Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. So... we have good news and bad news. The good news... we’re all alive. “
Colin Fisher 2
That happened in 2017 in Rapid City South Dakota. A Delta passenger flight accidently landed at a nearby Air Force base. Oops.
Peter Fuller 1

This is a 2020 retrospective about a 1979 oops, when Western Airlines mistakenly landed at Buffalo, Wyoming, instead of intended destination Sheridan.
Greg Cotten 2
I have heard of this navigational aide, I think it’s called GPS with a 10 meter or less accuracy, if only we could get one in a cockpit?
Justthefacs 2
Is this one of the airlines that crashed a Max-8? Just asking.
chop12345 4
Yep! The wonderful airline that had a 250 hour co-pilot. What could go wrong? Blame Boeing for an easily anticipated catastrophic event is what happened. You will never see me on some of these foreign airlines...........
James Eaton 3
chop12345 - clever switch there.... Boeing has already accepted the responsibility that it should have trained user pilots better - as well as should have communicated the situation better. The onus still lies with them to ensure the users are aware (and trained) to use variants irrespective of what the user airlines do.
There is no doubt that Boeing could have done better in this department - they have even admitted such.
pilotjag 1
This reminds of another similar incident with ET back in 2013. They were on approach to Kilimanjaro but somehow ended up landing on a smaller runway at a smaller airport
Funny, if the freighter was any other aircraft type the headline would have read: "Ethiopian freighter lands at wrong airport".
Geoff Arkley 2
Indeed. Old DC3 lands at wrong airport just does not have that "Ring of interest" about it.
Peter Doll 1
Navigating by phone app can be tricky if the signal strength is low. But why was it necessary to note that the plane is a 737-800? Further down in the article it mentions another incident but neglects the make and model. How much did that cost Airbus? I sure hope that the Wall Street avidon't see this and ding my Boeing stock any further.
alex hidveghy 1
Probably because that was the articles headline.the one that actually landed at the wrong airport. The second aircraft was a side note and went around. It did not land. There’s the difference. Not hard.....
What's ten miles, give or take lol!
alex hidveghy 1
Apparently, the difference of right and wrong!!.....
Colin Seftel 0
Ethiopian Airlines scores 2/7 for safety on, adversely affected by their 737MAX crash.
However, not all African airlines have poor safety ratings. Kenya Airways scores 7/7.
George Pepe 0
This would have been a nightmare for people on that plane if there had been people.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Peter Fuller 5
Happens in the first world, too, including the USA. Two examples: in 2013 Atlas Air 747 landed at KAAO instead of the intended McConnell AFB near Wichita; in 2016 Delta A320 landed at Ellsworth AFB instead of the intended Rapid City Regional KRAP. And of course Air Canada which lined up on a taxiway and barely avoiding landing on the departure queue at KSFO.
djames225 5
Heck even happens to the US Air Force. In July 2012, they had a C-17 land at KTPF, when it was suppose to land at KMCF.
belzybob 4
Not to forget the PanAm B707 that landed at Northolt instead of Heathrow.
aurodoc 4
If not mistaken a Southwest flight landed at wrong airport in Branson Missouri
alex hidveghy 2
Yes, I remember that one well!
The gas/water tower 5 miles out at Southall lined up with the old, defunct runway 23 has the letters LHR painted on them for years!!
ToddBaldwin3 4
An Air Force C-17, carrying General Mattis landed at Davis Island instead of McDill AFB
djames225 4
That is the 1 I was mentioning. Happened in July 2012. I thought for sure that Matis would rake those 2 over the coals.
And Davis is very short I recall
Iceman999 4
As well as all the others listed, have you also had a memory lapse about the Boeing Dreamlifter that landed at a GA airport instead of McConnell Air Force Base? Were all of these examples due to 3rd world pilots? Will you have the balls to justify those?
Peter Fuller 1
Iceman999 I think you may have meant to reply to linbb’s comment, not mine. The Atlas Air 747 in the incident I cited was the Boeing Dreamlifter: it was operated by Atlas. No memory lapse, no balls in play!
djames225 5
He was replying to linbb's comment. linbb is the 1 with memory lapse and shrunk go-nads
chop12345 -2
At least those instances there were PAPI systems and no "X" painted on the runway. I still cannot get out of my head the 37Max crash with the co-pilot 250 total hours. 250 TOTAL HOURS! Oh yeah, those African Airlines are safe.............. At 250 I think I was still in a 172
Larry Toler 2
The USAF is just as guilty landing a C17 at a GA airport in Florida instead of the nearby base.
chop12345 -3
Really? No PAPI and a X painted on the runway didn't make them think? Earlier that day another crew almost did the same thing but pulled up at 50 feet above the runway. I wish they had done a touch and go as I know they need the practice.


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