Here's a good story...

PSUPilot

Well-Known Member
Here\'s a good story...

While finishing up my flight training (almost done with my commercial), I have worked for over 2 years now at US Airways Express in State College, PA (graduated from PSU last May), which is Allegheny Airlines operating with Dash 8's.

January 4, we started to get a few Shuttle America flights in here operating for US Airways Express as well.

Last Friday, two pilots for Shuttle America flew their Saab 340 into the wrong airport. Yes, they landed at an airport about 13 nm away from University Park airport (KUNV), called Mid-State Airport (KPSB). 8 passengers were on board at the time. The passengers eventually de-planed and a van came to pick them up. The pilots meanwhile, eventually ferried the plane into University Park. (They were not allowed to take any passengers since it was an unproven field for airlines.) Fortunately, that crew was supposed to be done for the day. The outgoing flight out of State College was later cancelled, and the pilots who made the error were told to deadhead back home, where I would assume they will begin their retirement from the airline industry.

Now, these pilots made very stupid mistakes. First, it was a crystal clear day in central PA. Second, there is a PSB VOR very near the Philipsburg airport, whereas KUNV is about 13 nm away. Third, the altitude of KPSB is roughly 1000 ft higher than KUNV! So something should have clicked when they were getting low and altitudes did not match up. Fourth...although runway numbers are similar and arranged similarly, the cross runway at KPSB is roughly 3000 ft longer than the cross runway at KUNV! Lastly, the Philipsburg airport is pretty much desolate, with no major roads nearby, no town nearby, and even more obvious, no Penn State campus, and no 110,000 seat football stadium, which is vitually over the normal traffic pattern for left downwind for 24 at KUNV!

So as far as I'm concerned, these pilots did not do any homework before departing from Pittsburgh that afternoon. We have many other crews who have never been in to KUNV, and who manage to find the airport without any problem.


Here is a link to the story, which is just now making national headlines.

http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/news/7716354.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp
 

flycanuck

New Member
Re: Here\'s a good story...



that is funny. But if I was a passenger on the plane, someone would definately have to hold me back from ........ well you know.
 

pilot602

If specified, this will replace the title that
Re: Here\'s a good story...

This isn't the first time this has happened. And it's certainly not the largest aircraft to be involved in somethign like this. I doubt the pilots will be fired. They'll most likely be remanded to training and if they make another mistake then it's adios. No one was hurt. No damage was done. They just made a mistake. And it's probably because it was CAVU that the mistake was made.

It's funny (sot-of). It's a mark on their records. But I doubt they'll be fired outright over it.
 

rausda27

Well-Known Member
Re: Here\'s a good story...

You would be surprised how easy it actually is to makes tis mistake. I am not familiar with that aiports in this story but when i was in Florida I heard numerous stories of GA pilots mistaking FPR for VRB and vice versa...
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
Re: Here\'s a good story...

This happens all the time. I know of two Mesa flights that landed at Caribou AFB rather than Presque Isle. It was at night, no radar, no towers open and first time on the route.

It also happened several times to (ahem) Comair, landing at FLL instead of MIA.

All airports look a lot alike from a 3 mile final!
 

EDUC8-or

Well-Known Member
Re: Here\'s a good story...

[ QUOTE ]
when i was in Florida I heard numerous stories of GA pilots mistaking FPR for VRB and vice versa...

[/ QUOTE ]

Pretty easy to do, except for El Blanco Sombrero on the field at VRB, they look very similar.
 

Mongoose

New Member
Re: Here\'s a good story...

There was an incident back in 1995 of a Northwest DC-10 mistakenly landing at Brussels instead of Frankfurt. I remember reading an article on the investigation report somewhere, does anyone know where it might be?

From what I remember the mistake was made during a controller handover, where the alternate and destination airports were switched. The crew didn't notice the mistake, until they were on the ground. I remember there being an interesting write up on the physiological effects of flying at 3am (which was the time according to their body clocks).

If anyone has a link to the article, I'd be really interested to read it again.
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
Re: Here\'s a good story...

United 757 landed at Isla Grande instead of San Juan back in the early '90s.
 

chperplt

New Member
Re: Here\'s a good story...

[ QUOTE ]
Now, these pilots made very stupid mistakes

[/ QUOTE ]

What's stupid is someone almost finished with their commercial certificate making a stupid comment about professional pilots.

Until you walk a day in my shoes, you don't have a clue. I'd like to see some of your mistakes and see what we can call stupid.

What happened to the SA crew was an easily made mistake. Eagle landed in Caribou instead of PQI. I got halfway between PQI and Caribou before I realized that I was lining up with the wrong airport the first time I flew the route. AA landed on a taxiway in SEA last year.

Not everything is as it seems and for you to call them stupid mistakes is unfair.
 

tomek_vector

New Member
Re: Here\'s a good story...

... every time i read about a 'mistake' someone else accomplished, i'm honestly thankful to them. just hope that maybe that's the one i don't have to make, i can move on and make my own. hopefully different one, that maybe no one else has made. it's so easy to be smart a** at the keyboard, eh
 

FL270

New Member
Re: Here\'s a good story...

Honestly, the "wrong airport" mistake is unfortunate, but it does happen from time to time. Most of the time, the pilots don't get fired. Some Continental pilots did this a few years ago, going in to CRP mistakenly landed at a closed military field instead. They were re-trained and returned to the line.

On the other hand, a year or so ago a Chautauqua crew was flying a college basketball team on a charter in to DAY. They accidentally landed at another airport instead (MGY I think). After landing, the pilots looked around, realized their mistake, said "oh sierra hotel india tango", and blasted off again VFR for DAY. These guys did get fired ... not for the mistake of landing at the wrong airport, but because they departed (on a Part 121 flight) VFR and without the required performance data.

FL270
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
Re: Here\'s a good story...

[ QUOTE ]
These guys did get fired ... not for the mistake of landing at the wrong airport, but because they departed (on a Part 121 flight) VFR and without the required performance data.

FL270

[/ QUOTE ]

That's always the reason! That's the only reg you break really.
 
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