Passenger jet accidentally lands at a military air base in South Dakota

717 landing in Atlanta Ga

A passenger jet has accidently landed at a military air force base in South Dakota, 10 miles from its correct destination.

A Delta A320 jet carrying 130 passengers landed at Ellsworth Air Force Base, rather than its scheduled destination of Rapid City Regional Airport.

The two airports’ runways are oriented nearly identically from northwest to southeast so perhaps looked similar from the air.

Passengers on Delta Flight 2845 told the Rapid City Journal newspaper that they waited in the plane at Ellsworth for two-and-a-half hours while military personnel entered the cabin with a dog. The plane then flew to Rapid City.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating the incident.

Colonel Gentry Boswell, the commander of the 28th Bomb Wing at the air base, told ABC News: “The Radar Approach Control gave instructions to the Delta flight in this instance and pointed out both runways to the flight crew to alleviate any issues with identification of the correct airport and the crew replied they had the landing runway at Rapid City Regional Airport in sight.

“This was a gross breach of the security of our Airfield that present[ed] a potential threat to both our Airmen and our resources.

“Incidents like this occur when pilots fail to execute the basic measures of airmanship.”

According to the FAA, a Northwest Airlines flight on its way to Rapid City also accidentally landed at Ellsworth Air Force Base in 2004.

Delta said in a statement they have contacted passengers offering a “gesture of apology for the inconvenience”, adding: “Delta will fully cooperate with that investigation and has already begun an internal review of its own”.

Courtesy Independent