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Sriwijaya Air Pilot Suspended for Landing at Wrong Airport

| October 18, 2012 | 8 Comments
Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737

Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737

A pilot for Sriwijaya Air has been suspended because he landed his 737 at the wrong airport.

The Jakarta Globe reports:

‘The Sriwijaya Air plane, carrying 96 passengers and six crew, was meant to land at Minangkabau International airport in the city of Padang, but instead descended to the Tabing air force base some 12 kilometers (seven miles) away.

“This incident was very serious and very dangerous for passenger safety as [the plane] landed at a wrong airport,” ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan said, adding that a probe by the aviation safety watchdog is underway.

“For the time being we won’t allow him to fly and he is expected to give an explanation to the aviation safety department,” he said.’

Minangkabau Airport officials are also under investigation as to why they let him land somewhere else without any apparent questioning.

Indonesia has a checkered aviation safety record, with several deadly crashes over recent years across the massive archipelago where air travel is essential to reach outlying areas.

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  1. Sriwijaya Air 737 Makes Emergency Landing Due to Hydraulic Issue | October 25, 2012
  1. Chris says:

    This has got to be a joke!

    • John D Edwards says:

      No joke. It’s been done many times before, including some by airline flights. For example:
      - on 25 October 1960 a PanAm B707 landed at RAF Northolt (semi-military) by mistake for London (Heathrow). To recover the aircraft later, it had to be stripped out of seats etc. to get the weight down for take-off from Northolt’s not-so-long runway.
      - on 31 July 1979 Western Airlines flight 44 from LAX LAS and DEN with a B737 landed at Buffalo, Wyoming by mistake for Sheridan.
      – on 29 March 2006, in Northern Ireland, a Ryanair flight (with B737 I guess) from Liverpool to Derry landed by mistake at the disused military field at Ballykelly.

  2. HERMANNE says:

    i done it one time in huntsville ala. was vcleared to ;land if i had runWAY IN SIGHT
    I DID JUST THAT
    THEN AFTER LANDING I WAS APPROACHED BY A JEEP WITH ARMED SOLDIERS
    I HAD LANDED AT HUNTSVILLE SPACE CENTER FIELS
    BOTH FIELDS LOOKED ALIKE FROM THE AIR
    THIS WAS DURING A HEAVY SNOWSTORM
    WHICH ONLY HAPPENS ONCE IN A CENTURY IN HUNTSVILLEW
    WE DID NOT DEPLANE ON THEIR ADVISE AND WERE CLEARED FOR AN IMMEDIATE TAKEOFF

  3. Bob Romond says:

    As a 6th grade student at Stewart School in Garden City, Long Island, our class got to witness an Air France 707 attempt a landing at Mitchell Field, across the street from the school. The plane had to do a touch and go because of a way too short runway that was mistaken for Idlewild (now JFK) The year was 1959.

  4. Phil says:

    Happened at an airfield I used to work at. Pilot was in contact with approach from the International airport on the other side of town(our tower closed at 1800). Apparently he mistakingly landed at our airport cause I started getting frantic phone calls from FAA trying to find him.

    Happened the other way around once. A light twin got clearance from our tower to land (early afternoon when our tower was open), vectored in and landed. We never saw him. Come to find out from some friends at the international airport the knucklehead put down at the international airport without permission and they had to divert a few airliners to avoid him ending up like a bug on someone’s windshield. GA pilots scare the Hell out of me sometimes.

  5. Barry says:

    While working for Hughes Helicopters in Culver City, CA in the mid 1980′s a JAL 747 mistook the Hughes runway for LAX which is approximately 5 miles to the south. Hughes’ had its own private runway which was approximatley 9,000 ft and was mistaken for LAX. The 747 did a very low flyby when he realized he was at the wrong location.

  6. JENNIFER says:

    Was the flight crew flying VFR? I normally assume such modern aircraft as the B737 have ILS and FMC panels for the pilot to enter data pre departure and that they at least have an idea what the arrival airfield looks like.

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