View Full Version : Did BACE 146 fly to wrong airport?

26th Sep 2002, 13:49
Only just heard this from a very reliable source amongst the crews at MAN. A week or so ago a 146 doing the scheduled MAN/BRU pulled up on stand when a CC member in the rear called the purser and said "Why if we are supposed to be going to Brussells does it say SCHIPOL AIRPORT on the buildings outside."
Sure enough they were at Schipol. There had not been a word to the passengers or to the Cabin Crew inflight to prepare them for this. The pax were offloaded to wander around the terminal totally bemussed and to suffer a 4 hour coach trip to Brussels. Now this bit I find hard to believe but when the Flight Crew were asked why they had ended up in AMS and had not told the pax, they were told words to this effect, "We got lost and had to divert here. And we didn't know what to say to the passengers."

Any truth in all this! Sounds pretty far fetched I grant you but apparently reports have been written.
Sorry if I'm wrongly labelling the Flight Crew as BACE, but it was definitely a 146, whoever operates that. I've lost track and sad to say interest.

Freak On A Leash
26th Sep 2002, 14:10
I`ve heard of a similar incident some years back, but in stead of diverting because they were lost, the crew actually thought they were at the right airport and landed!Not getting through to ATC on the frequencies (of their destination airport) they assumed they had a radio failure and plugged the numbers in the transponder.Of course, by doing this all hell breaks lose with the radar controllers who can only monitor the flight as it flies towards what it thinks is its destination.
Upon landing, and again trying the ground control frequencies, they get a hold of ATC who asks them "What is the nature of your emergency?"
To add to the confusion, the passengers have begun to notice that they aren`t where they`re supposed to be, and since they have not been informed of any diversions, some of them begin to panic fearing that they have been hijacked!:eek:

Luckily this doesn`t happen too often, and I guess the crew were a bit bashful afterwards too.Not to mention a not so impressed management...

Don`t laugh - it could happen to you too!

26th Sep 2002, 14:17
I vaguely remember a true incident of a Trans Atlantic American operator who ended up in Brussels (I think) making all the calls to FRA (his destination)
No the last thing I'm doing is laughing as I am only too aware after my fairly lengthy career, in flying that TBFTGOGGI.
Just like to know what if any of the story is true.

Notso Fantastic
26th Sep 2002, 14:19
Oh dear oh dear! Third (or fifth hand) gossip from a cabin crew crew room! And Freak- I've been a professional pilot for nearly 33 years and I one thing I have learned- don't pass on old 'folk lore' aviation stories- there is a very low margin of truth in them!

Finally, did you really have to give this thread this title? It does actually have another meaning. Airbis- you should have known better.

26th Sep 2002, 16:13
I think it was in 1978 I was an Area Radar controller at Gailes Radar, Scotland. I was working a BEA/BAW Trident from Heathrow to Glasgow. They had started their descent and I was vectoring them towards the GOW. The crew then said sorry but we think we should be going to Edinburgh. Sharp right turn to the EDI. Spoke to the captain later on the phone and he was convinced he was going to EGPF. It was only when he was on the PA to the PAX at top of descent, giving them WX at PF that a passenger said hang on we should be going to EGPH.

Mr G.

:) :)

26th Sep 2002, 17:10
I vaguely remember a true incident of a Trans Atlantic American operator who ended up in Brussels (I think) making all the calls to FRA (his destination)
No the last thing I'm doing is laughing as I am only too aware after my fairly lengthy career, in flying that TBFTGOGGI.
Just like to know what if any of the story is true.<<

Yep, it's true. On September 5, 1995 Northwest 52, a DC10 DTW-FRA, had a little mixup and landed at BRU. For unknown reasons, a Shanwick controller changed the destination on a flight strip and it went downhill from there.

In retrospect, as always, there were multiple clues that something wasn't right. The fuel burn was low at TOD, the ILS freq didn't work, the pilots called FRA approach and tower, the controllers kept answering BRU etc. The pax could see they were not landing at FRA on the screens in the back, however the F/A's thought perhaps a hijacking was in progress and didn't call up front.

Capt Homesick
26th Sep 2002, 19:55
If there were any truth to this one, it would have made the press- is it likely nowadays that a 146-load of disgruntled pax would all all keep quiet?
Sounds like someone retold the 1995 incident, and the story has grown in the retelling...

27th Sep 2002, 09:28
But anyway.

My old maths master was a meteorologist in WW2 and was based at an aerodrome near Bristol.

One day (in 1941 I think) someone was watching a plane on its finals and realised it was Heinkel bomber (a 111?). Everyone rushed around assuming it was going to go bomb and strafe them.

It didn't. It landed.

The lewis gunners (who hadn't been at their stations) proceeded to shoot the plane up killing one of the crew. The plane burst into flames and was destroyed, much to the chagrin of the more shadowy elements of the RAF, who wouldn't have minded getting their hands on a German bomber.

The crew had got lost in cloud and thought they were landing in northern France.

My maths master often used to tell us this story to show us the importance of vectoring (I think).

I can't really believe that a Bae146 crew would make the same mistake nowadays although I do recall the poor chap who put a (737?) onto a disused airstrip near Belfast during the 80s.

eastern wiseguy
27th Sep 2002, 10:03
The aircraft you are thinking of may be the DANAIR hs 748 which found Langford Lodge(a disused airfield with a similar runway layout 3 dme )as the atis will now tell you.Having said that I was on duty once when the Scots handed over a bizjet inbound from the states .We weren' t expecting it nor indeed were any handling company.The aircraft was handed off to us somewhat high ...could not find the ILS and after much faffing about with a confirmation of frequency of said ILS found itself landing at Aldergrove.Only when safely on the ground did the crew advise they wanted to go to EDINBURGH!!!! A flaw in the flight plan caused everyone bar the crew to expect them to land in Ireland.In the end they taxiied round and departed...but as usual a combination of factors caused a problem .

Captain Stable
27th Sep 2002, 10:11
Langford Lodge is unlicensed. It is very far from being disused. Ask anyone from Martin Baker! ;)

27th Sep 2002, 10:16
During WWII a student pilot on his final checkout and his instructor (a 2-ship) were just finishing their detail when the instructor saw 4 Zero's diving out of the sun at them. He ordered the student to hit the deck and get out of there. The stident, being rather full of himself, decided to take these bandits on. He used all the tricks and techniques he had been taught and actually shot down all four!!

Bu this time he was lost and started a search pattern for his ship. Just at the end of his fuel endurance he spotted his carrier on the horizon. After he landed he jumped down to the deck and shouted: HEY GUYS I HAVE JUST SHOT DOWN FOUR ZEROS". The landing deck officer smiled and said " ah yes buta you made wun small mishtake".

27th Sep 2002, 12:13
Now one of our 146's did once fly to the wrong airport - the Captain had got so used to his regular routing that he just plain forgot to turn after departure towards his new destination, and headed off to the usual place.

But as he was only flying parcels there was no fuss outside of the company.....happened a couple of years back. They just had to send another aircraft down to the intended destination to pick that night's freight up.

27th Sep 2002, 12:20
This is a true story. While sitting on the cargo apron in DUB Saturday night about 6 years ago a BA ATP taxied in & parked. The captain then called S'air handling & asked why nobody was coming to offload his newspapers as he was running late & required a quick t/around. The S'air controller asked him to confirm his flight number & he would get back to him asap as he wasn't expecting him. The S'air controller called the captain back about 5 mins later again on VHF for all to hear & said "Yes (flight#) our colleagues in BFS are expecting you if you would like to make your way there" The ATP departed about 20 min's later without further fuss or RT transmissions to S'air....... ;)

dik dastardly
27th Sep 2002, 12:51
Heard similar stories about a flybe 146 last year when it dispatched from LGW with BRNAV u/s on a Scandinavian charter. They found the right airport eventually..it just wasn't where they thought it would be!:rolleyes:

27th Sep 2002, 13:25
NotSo Fantastic
This part of the forum is suposed to be about "Rumours and News"
I was just after confirmation or otherwise of this story. Oh and I did say a reliable source, but you'll have to trust me on that one.
"old 'folk lore' aviation stories" very often have a high margin of truth in them as witnessed by all the other similar true tales prompted here.
For you to read anything else into the header for this thread is very pessimistic, but now I can see that it could be read another way and if I have upset anyone, by that, then I apologise.
(It takes 2 secs to see that it was nothing catastrophic)

Notso Fantastic
27th Sep 2002, 16:33
Well I'm afraid reporting an aeroplane 'lost' has a completely different meaning to the one you intended to most people out there.
Whilst some of these stories are funny, you don't really think there is more than a grain of truth in most of them do you? All the old chestnuts that have surfaced on Pprune recently (the deserted wife told to sell her husbands car......the rocket assisted truck in the Arizona desert......<many more>), they are all myths. I think you would be hard pressed to prove most of these, but it doesn't stop them being funny.

27th Sep 2002, 16:47
Notso Fantastic.

Sorry you are so sceptical.
Can assure you that my Trident story is true.

Mr G.

rhythm method
27th Sep 2002, 18:10
Are you sure this isn't an attempt at bad publicity during the scope shafting attempt?

As it is neither a rumour or news, surely it ought to now be deleted, or is there a sinister ploy that I can't quite see?:rolleyes:

Young Paul
27th Sep 2002, 18:45
The DC10 going to BRU rather than FRA is true. I know, 'cos I was in the aircraft that landed after it. It made it into the papers the next day. Also, it's been used as a CRM module in the training department for the last few years in my company.

There are plenty of mistakes that could be made very easily, and every pilot is only as good as his or her last flight. However, I and various people I have spoken to have spend a long time trying to imagine the circumstances in which an aircraft we were flying might end up at the wrong airport with B737CFM or Airbus technology - but we couldn't.

28th Sep 2002, 11:47
during wwii a luftwaffe fw190 lnded at pembrey in s wales , the pilot thought he was in northern france. the fw190 is now in the raf museum. during exercise lionheart in 84 we had a 737 land at gutersloh instead of wildenrath!!

ATC Watcher
28th Sep 2002, 17:57
Not all rumours. The NWA DC10 in BRU instead of FRA is indeed true ( and sad as the Capt got fired and the F/O resigned ) The AirCharter ( Air France sub ) B727 that ended up in Aqqaba (Jordan) instead of Eilat (Israel) is also true. they really got 'disorientated ", (and were lucky ).
Aerolinas Argentinas in a 747 ,in the 80,s , on a transatlantic flight to Las Palmas , landed in TFS while the airport was still in construction . taxied, turned around and took off again, landed in LPA without saying anything. Constructions workers in TFS talked to the Press the next day. Aerolinas first denied it was them. But specific tyres marks on the (new) runway gave tem up...

But the my favourite is still the Spantax CV990 , full of journalists and Tour operators chiefs, that was bound for Hamburg and landed in Finkenwerder, on the island in the middle of the city in a 1800m runway...in the 70s They made it OK but had to remove everything movable in the a/c including the seats, drain all but 2 tons of fuel to ba able to take off again to HAM.
They manage to do so eventually !
The irony was that it was a flight paid by the airline to re-assure German tourists that it was safe to fly Spantax ( they had just 3 crashes in 2 years )

Notso Fantastic
28th Sep 2002, 18:32
Sorry to be cynical, but are you ABSOLUTELY SURE you're not repeating folklore tales from long ago? I have heard identical stories:
1- involving a BOAC prop aeroplane landing at the wrong aeroplane in Montreal, taxing around and taking off again - the only way it came to light was when a landing fee account arrived at BOAC, and
2- DC-8 landing at Juhu Beach instead of Bombay- rest of the details the same.

The point is that oft repeated stories from the past take on a 'truth' of their own. People will swear blind about them, as they firmly believe the 'alligators infecting the NY sewer system as keepers of exotic pets flush them down the loo when they get too snappy', the man in the JATO equipped truck in the Arizona desert, the 'people waking up with no kidneys', the '$200 cookie recipe', the numerous serious sounding hoax virus warnings, the little girl dying of cancer who wants as many emails as possible, the scuba diver found in the forest fire, the jumper off a tall building who dies of a shotgun wound, the construction workers left inside concrete in bridges, they're all total rubbish and you can believe nothing until you read it from a reliable source- the curse of the internet is all the idiots circulating stories ad infinitum until they gain their own 'truth'. Aviation suffers this tripe as well. So I'm not saying they didn't happen, but I'll believe it when I see it written somewhere reliable. I know some are true- I heard them years ago!

Uncle Silas
28th Sep 2002, 19:42
Well Said!!!!!!;)

28th Sep 2002, 21:14
Absolutelly TRUE
This AM, xxx1p from there to Manch. Co call,[I wasn't "involved"] yet, for the PIC to "call CO".
Second call [to me] was to "park" said a/c, cos the first call was Don't land, go back to dep a/f :rolleyes: :eek:
we aim to please, it keeps the cleaners happy

28th Sep 2002, 21:41
Hate to nitpick, but the Pembey Fw 190 (W Nr 313, RAF MP499) was Struck Off Charge in Sept. 1943 and destroyed. The one at Hendon is a two-seater, surrendered at Grove (Karup) in 1945. The single seater at the IWM, Lambeth, is the upper part of a Mistel combination, surrendered at Tirstup in Denmark. Bit off topic, but keep the record straight.

29th Sep 2002, 00:42
Well, a PANAM 707 landed at Northolt in the '60s instead of RW23 at LHR. This one I do know is true - I also happened to know the LHR controller who had correctly lined him up and switched him to Tower and then got on with more vectoring. The first he knew of it was when he received an irate phone call from the boys in blue in the Northolt Tower. There were at least another couple of go-arounds ('overshoots' back then) at Northolt by aircraft on Final to RW23 at LHR. I believe that they then painted a very large NH on the gasholder in South Harrow.

ATC Watcher
29th Sep 2002, 12:17
Not so fantastic : I do not know about the others incidents , but the one I reported , NWA ( I was on duty, and we got the debrief from the FAA a year later ), Air Charter , got a lot of media coverage in France, even Flight international ran a photo of the 727 a completely white a/c with only the words Air Charter painted on it standing in the Jordan military base . The Aerolinas 747 was reported in the Spanish press at the time, and the BX Coronado, I was also on duty and this one made the German press as well for a long time as at least 50 journos were on board.
All there are retracable thru media archives if you have the time.
True some stories get embelished with time and resurface in other parts of the globe, helas not those 4.

29th Sep 2002, 12:38
“1- involving a BOAC prop aeroplane landing at the wrong aeroplane”

Such a picky little sucker. NotSoPerfic after all. Must be a Captain …. Sorry please don’t censor this too.

See you Nigel. :cool:

Notso Fantastic
29th Sep 2002, 13:21
What an amazing post. It makes you sound as idiotic as your profile! Be happy & keep cool.

29th Sep 2002, 14:03
YES!! This did happen at 20 sept!! They put the crew on stndby until further notice/ investigation.
The passengers did not travel by buss, but by Schiphol Taxi's.

Schiphol published a small article about this incident in their monthly magazine.

29th Sep 2002, 14:30
Tisk Tisk very sensitive. ;) Have you checked yours recently. :)

29th Sep 2002, 16:07
>>Whilst some of these stories are funny, you don't really think there is more than a grain of truth in most of them do you?<<

Well, landing at the wrong airport sure happens more often than most of us would like to admit. Years ago Delta landed at McDill Air Force Base instead of Tampa and Frankfort instead of Lexington. Delta became an acronym for Don't Ever Land There Again.

Here's a news account of a touch and go in a 727 with pax onboard:

Quito, Ecuador (AP) June 25, 1999

A pilot flying a commercial jet with 110 passengers
tried to land at the wrong airport in Ecuador and only
took off again after realizing the runway was too
short, authorities said Thursday.

The Boeing 727 touched town briefly Tuesday in the tiny
airport in Ambato, 75 miles south of the capital of
Quito. But the plane lifted off again immediately when
the pilot realized it was heading toward a ravine at
the end of the runway, civil aviation chief Gen.
Osvaldo Dominguez said.

The pilot then flew on to the correct destination,
Latacunga airport, 25 miles away, Dominguez said.

Latacunga airport is being used as a temporary
alternative for planes heading to Quito's Mariscal
Sucre airport, which is closed for a week for
renovations. The plane, owned by the Venezuelan airline
Avensa, was coming from the Ecuadorean port city of

"This absolutely and totally was an inexplicable human
error that should be sanctioned rigorously because
there is no explanation," Dominguez said.

The pilot was interviewed by Ecuadorean aviation
authorities for seven hours in Latacunga airport before
being allowed to fly the plane to its next stop in
Bogota, Colombia.



Here are a few more reports of these "urban legends":







30th Sep 2002, 02:30
A couple of years ago, 'Erindoors ventured on one of Mr O'Leary's machines. It took off from Stockholm, more or less on time and came in to land a few minutes early. Usual announcement; "Ladies and gentlemen, we have landed at Stansted, please remain in your seats... " etc, etc.

Mrs Beak rose to get her stuff together, looked out of the window, and called the nearest flight attendant over. "If we've just landed at Stansted, why does it say Groningen on that building over there?"

The poor girl looked out, looked flustered, blinked, then said, "Actually, I don't know where we are," then vanished up the sharp end.

After twenty minutes the machine took off, and went to Stansted as planned. No announcement, no apology, no nothing.

Fuel stop? Pilot picking up a friend? Mistook? Weird.

30th Sep 2002, 10:28
Well, nothing to do with aviation but in my line of business (shipping) we can experience similar problems. A few years back I ordered a ship to go to Gloucester, MASS to load. She ended up at Gloucester, NJ. Very embarrasing for the Captain and very expensive for my company. :)

30th Sep 2002, 15:09
My boss once recieved a call from some visitors who failed to turn up at our office. Said they were having problems finding it.

It turned out they had arrived at Heathrow and had lept straight into their hire car and driven to Cambridge. Only problem was they had gone to Cambridge in Gloucestershire instead of Cambridge in Cambridgeshire. No wonder the local map we gave them wasn't much good.

30th Sep 2002, 21:35
it was NO on the gas holder at South Harrow and LH on the identical one at Southall (which lined you up with 23 at Heathrow). I had a very good view of a Swissair DC8 nearly doing a repeat of the PanAm episode from my parents' house a few hundred yards from said gas holder. I understand the trick in those days was to line up the spire of St Mary's church on the top of Harrow Hill with the appropriate gas holder - no doubt someone will correct me!

30th Sep 2002, 22:07
Thanks GG, absolutely correct! & I now remember the laughter generated by the NO! - I did actually see one of the go-arounds, but can't remember the airline ... or perhaps would rather not let on!!

1st Oct 2002, 07:48
Interesting to hear that Leij (of course some loud mouth know it all, will call you a liar unless you show him the taxi receipts, oh and anything you read in the press/airport magazine is bound to be fabricated.)
It's no wonder that it hasn't been reported yet. Not many of us would like to see a mistake (if that is what it was) of these proportions, highlighted here or anywhere else for that matter.
I know, for a fact that the purser had to write a full report on return.
No boubt the truth will out eventually. I would like to know how (if) it happened. Hopefully, then I can avoid doing same. :rolleyes:

rhythm method
Are you always looking for some conspiracy? Why should it be linked with the scope agreement?! Nobody has even mentioned that. Just because you didn't hear it as a rumour does that mean it isn't one or that it isn't true. If you don't like it don't read it. Simple.
From the confirmation in Schipol, it would appear there is some more to this.

John, I'm only dancin'
1st Oct 2002, 09:07

Having read some of your earlier posts on other threads I was not surprised that you popped up here with your own unique brand of invective. I'm just puzzled as to why you do it.......

Dan Winterland
1st Oct 2002, 13:10
More common than you think.

I was once cleared to line up at Leeming only to be told to hold short as there was an unidentified aircraft in the circuit. I waited and watched as a Jet Provost flew a perfect Practice Forced Landing pattern and took off again without making one radio call. No doubt, the controllers at Topcliffe were craning their necks trying to see the aircraft they though was in their circuit.

And in my airline a few years ago, a crew flying from LGW initialised the route from LHR. It took a landing at Shannon to sort the problem and re-align!

Check those tracks and distances!!!!