View Full Version : Scare as pilot mistakes airport

9th Aug 2005, 22:28
Scare as pilot mistakes airport

AVIATION authorities are investigating a pilot who mistook Melbourne airport for Essendon.

The pilot caused an emergency when he landed his Piper Navaho (sic) without clearance at Melbourne airport on Saturday night. He allegedly could not be contacted by radio and ignored flashing runway and strobe lights warning him not to land.
Airport fire trucks attended, but the aircraft landed without incident.

The pilot, who was delivering newspapers from Sydney, had earlier off-loaded his cargo at Melbourne airport and then took off for Essendon.

A Civil Aviation Safety Authority spokesman said CASA would investigate possible safety breaches involving the pilot being out of radio contact and ignoring a warning.

The pilot could face disciplinary action ranging from counselling to
cancellation of his licence.

Sydney-based firm XXXXXXXXX chief pilot XXXXXXXX said he was waiting for the pilot to write a report.


From Curt Lewis News - Anyone heard about this?


Time Bomb Ted
10th Aug 2005, 00:24
Word is that he had a hatch problem, concentrated on that, then misidentified YMML for YMEN.

Whoops! Only the second most dangerous thing I've seen in the past year.


11th Aug 2005, 15:02
... seem to recall a couple of RPT flights a few years back which set up for Essendon thinking it was Tulla...

Actually didn't a Jumbo mistakenly put down into Essendon once?

Roger Standby
11th Aug 2005, 15:06
Got to feel sorry for the guy. Departs off 27, gets flogged around and flys around 16nm(En's only a few miles from Ml), down to the south, back around towards En (not the easiest to pick at night compared to Ml), sees an airport with similar runway alignments to what he's expecting. Asked if he has the airport in sight. Yep. In he goes. Although a serious mistake, the approach controllers I spoke to seemed bemused and a little sympathetic to his plight.

Not as bad as international heavies setting up for an approach to land at En which has happened a few times years ago when they made the similar miscalculations due to the similar runway configurations as Ml.


** Taildragger beat me to the punch whilst I was typing**

11th Aug 2005, 15:36
Damn. I thought it was 35 that had the strobes :E

montys ex teaboy
12th Aug 2005, 23:38
Funny this subject raises it's ugly head again.

I remember operating a flight that originated in Europe and final destination Melbourne main about 15 years ago. On arrival in the vicinity of Melbourne, we were given a clearance, that was such the consensus of opinion on the flight deck was " if they were trying to get us to land at the wrong airport they were doing a good job" Possible they thought we were strike breaking and trying to screw us up.

Whatever happened to KISS? Keep It Simple, therefore Safe..

13th Aug 2005, 00:13
Well, were you strikebreaking ?

13th Aug 2005, 06:45
I heard of a USAF C-17 misidentifying a taxiway for the runway (at a middle east airfield) and landing on it. Albeit in low vis. Luckily no-one was taxiing! What's amusing is they've done it twice at the same airfield in 12 months.

montys ex teaboy
13th Aug 2005, 07:04

No we were not strike breaking in this instance. Would not have worried ME if we were BTW.

13th Aug 2005, 07:24
Heard of VFR duchess once in Canberra. He reported final for runway 30, then the tower said " XXX you seem to be lined up for runway 35, but its okay continue approach - clear to land "


13th Aug 2005, 08:10
although not in the same league, (probably a thourand leagues above :D) When I was in the States (prior 911) a student in a 152 in FL usa mistook Patrick AFB for Merrit Island. (go figure)

you really have to ask the question what was he doing, the CFI had to "go get" him in a seneca and beg serious humble pie to stop the guy getting deported. I think he may have forced a C130 to go around and there were rumours of him being billed, we never found out.

I can understand in a way, they are both located on "spits" , if thats believable, and they both have 11/29 Rwys, except one is a small municipial, and the other is about the same size as Sydney.

17th Aug 2005, 05:58
Flying into the avalon scareshow back in March I heard a Semenhole that mistook Avalon for Avalon East. One is 10,000 ft of concrete and the other 3000ft of grass...

Go figure..


17th Aug 2005, 14:48
These are all mis-idents on approach... we saw in Taipei what can happen when there's a similar error on departure...

The Messiah
17th Aug 2005, 23:08
or the China Airlines 340 out of Anchorage a short while back who took off from the taxiway which is 90 degrees different bearing to the runway.

18th Aug 2005, 09:26
Some years ago when Melbourne was at Essendon and the radar was very basic, there was this light aircraft inbound to MB from the NW. He called MB TWR inbound and was given a right base to land on 17R, not such an unusual thing in those days.

He subsequently called base, but the tower could not see him and then they lost comms with him.......

wait for it....

about this time he landed on the N-S taxiway parallel to 17 at EN right in front of the tower....! I understand there was some wide open eyes and mouth's, especially from the Viscount about to leave the RPT apron!!