Saturday, January 13, 2007

Good landing, wrong airport

This is NOT how you want to make the papers!

The Guardian in the UK tells the story this way:
As radio talk between pilots and air traffic controllers goes, it is not what passengers want to hear. Crew: "We've just touched down." Air traffic control: "It's the wrong airport." Crew: "I know."

An accident report yesterday revealed that a Dublin-based Eirjet plane, operated on behalf of Ryanair and carrying 39 passengers, had departed from Liverpool for Derry but landed five miles short at Ballykelly, a former RAF base used by the army.

An inquiry by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch found that the crew of the Airbus A320 had landed at Ballykelly after requesting permission to make a visual landing. Its automatic landing system was faulty, the report said. Once the 59-year-old captain saw Ballykelly, and not knowing there was another airfield in the vicinity, "his mind-set was this must be his destination airfield".

The co-pilot, it seems, was similarly minded. Part of the confusion was put down to the fact that the captain had not seen the Londonderry airfield map.
Don't they have Jepps over there on the other side of the pond??

The article says that the pax and their baggage were taken the remaining few miles to their final destination by road, and that another crew flew the aircraft out of Ballykenny.