Delta Airlines Plane Lands At WRONG Airport

Delta Airlines
image: Aero Shots

A couple of days back a Delta Airlines plane landed at the wrong airport in South Dakota. The mishap is now being investigated by the NTSB.

The plane took off from Minneapolis- St Paul Airport (MSP) and was heading for Rapid City Airport (RAP). Instead, it landed at Ellsworth Air Force Base which is located around 10 miles away.

USA Today mentioned from the AP that “The two airports have runways that are oriented nearly identically to the compass, from northwest to southeast“.

After “coordinating with officials”, the flight took off for Rapid City. I wonder if this would be one of the shortest flights ever!

During the NTSB investigation, the Delta crew has been taken off-duty. Delta Airlines has contacted the 130 passengers from the flight “and offered a gesture of apology for the inconvenience.” I wonder what kind of gesture this could be! (Points, vouchers, nothing?)

Find out more from USA Today here.

3 thoughts on “Delta Airlines Plane Lands At WRONG Airport

  1. Not the first time – Northwest did it also at the same airport. One would think with a prior incident, safety measures would be in place.

  2. Obviously no problem with safety considering the AFB runway length but pretty dumb regardless. Additionally, there had to be some miscommunications between the Rapid City Tower and our two now grounded pilots. Might have been the first time into Rapid City for both as there are usually warnings in IFR approach letdown plates for runway orientations such as this. Saw this identical runway alignment in Kansas.

  3. Mike- I did read that this has happened before (and in other areas). I’d think with the technology we have these days, these kind of errors would never happen.

    Rich A- It definitely is a pretty crazy mistake. I wonder how much of a delay was caused for the passengers.

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