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eirjet A320 LANDS AT WRONG AIRPORT!

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eirjet A320 LANDS AT WRONG AIRPORT!

Old 29th Mar 2006, 13:58
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Red face eirjet A320 LANDS AT WRONG AIRPORT!

get a load of this

just heard from a mate that a A320 routing liverpool to derry has landed at ballykelly airport rather than derry !!
Aircraft operating on behalf of Ryanair due to lack of crews at Ryanair.Should be interesting getting out of there from a performance point of view landed safely pax being bussed to other side of the lough(derry)

bf
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Old 29th Mar 2006, 14:03
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I wouldn't call EGQB an Airport, don't think a fixed wing has landed there in years.

Its about 5 miles east of EGAE.

A few red faces me thinks
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Old 29th Mar 2006, 14:11
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I seem to remember they used to fly C130s in there until quite recently.
What was the guy in the tower looking at?
I see in Flight International they have a vacancy at EGAE at the moment, could be another one soon!
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Old 29th Mar 2006, 14:15
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What was the guy in the tower looking at?
Er - what were the crew looking at? There's at least 40 degrees difference in runway alignment to start with..........
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Old 29th Mar 2006, 14:19
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Flew in to Londonderry a few times and I have to say, I'm surprised someone hasn't put down in ballykelly by mistake before now.

The approach onto runway 26 is almost perfectly aligned with the old runway at ballykelly.....albeit ballykelly is about 5 miles from the 26 threshold. To add to the confusion Ballykelly sometimes has its runway lights on.

I can imagine that a NDB approach in marginal conditions could easily end up with a crew unfamiliar with the area mis-identifying Ballykelly.
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Old 29th Mar 2006, 14:31
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/4857962.stm
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Old 29th Mar 2006, 14:32
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Strong prevailing winds in N.I. mean most runways are likely to point the same way.
EGAA has Nutts corner and Langford Lodge in close proximity with similar runway alignment. At least two aircraft have landed at Langford by mistake, one of which I seem to remember was a DC9 which turned around and took off again! The other was an HS748.
I myself saw another 748 lining up nicely to land at Nutts Corner and had to intervene, it was a fairly regular event to have to verify to pilots on a VOR approach to 07 that EGAA was the next one along from EGAL.
Hazards such as those should be well known to the Tower Controller, surely he should be on the lookout especially when crews unfamiliar with the area are making an approach. I'm not saying it's his fault, but he should be one more factor that should prevent that happening. I think EGAE only have about 12 scheduled movements a day so I think they can afford the time to look out of the window.
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Old 29th Mar 2006, 14:39
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I can imagine that a NDB approach in marginal conditions could easily end up with a crew unfamiliar with the area mis-identifying Ballykelly.

True but conditions here today are 8/8ths blue all the nines. Be interesting to find out why he misidentified Eglington. Surely his ILS would have been monitored even in CAVOK?

Lucky to have stopped in time and lucky the resident battalion wasnt running round the airfield!
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Old 29th Mar 2006, 14:43
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little bit more info coming in
there was an aircraft calibrating the ILS at the time(derry),the guys n the 320 were cleared for a visual right hand downwind went overhead and went to the wrong rwy/fiel the calibration of the ILS had evryone busy that should have been watching out i guess? not trying to make excuses just trying to understand what went on

bf
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Old 29th Mar 2006, 14:44
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My experience is that it's more likely to happen in good weather conditions.
Pilot doing a visual approach, not all the runway lights on, he sees a runway and goes for it.
Its probably not going to happen from an ILS approach in grotty weather with the full christmas tree lit up.
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Old 29th Mar 2006, 14:44
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Ryaniar website currently says FR9884 "Diverted to Ballykelly due to technical fault".

I wonder what sort of technical fault?
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Old 29th Mar 2006, 14:46
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If established on the ILS then I'd say it would be very difficult to confuse the airfields.......perhaps he followed the procedure downwind (don't think they have radar at EGAE), reported visual (with wrong airfield) and was granted a visual approach?

From then on the "tunnel vision" effect could take over to make the mistake difficult to spot.
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Old 29th Mar 2006, 14:57
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Loved this news story on Ryanair Website

Obviously not related to this story but made me chuckle given the advice they are giving their pasengers

http://www.ryanair.com/site/EN/news....=gen-en-150306

Story title - Don't go to the wrong airport

(not a Ryanair bash - just a post on something to make us chuckle)
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Old 29th Mar 2006, 15:08
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Condolences to the Eirjet crew. Confusing Ballykelly with Eglinton is horribly easy to do, particularly as the 08/26 runway was once capable of supporting dispersed V-bomber ops and is still 2,000 m plus, I believe. The tower controller really should have been aware of the possibility of confusion but it's easy to criticise with hindsight. Ballykelly with its big hangars and runway probably must show up much better that Derry/Eglinton.
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Old 29th Mar 2006, 15:15
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Agree with Atcham Tower. Condolences more appropriate than wishing them well with a job search which is a bit off - they made a mistake, and we are all capable of doing that.
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Old 29th Mar 2006, 15:17
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From the BBC news (Northern Ireland) website:

Ryanair said in a statement it was due to an "error by the Eirjet pilot who mistakenly believed he was on a visual approach to City of Derry airport".

The 39 passengers were taken by coach from Ballykelly to the airport.

In its statement, Ryanair said it had notified the aviation authorities in the UK and Ireland of the incident.

"We have also asked Eirjet, the operator of the aircraft to carry out a full investigation into this matter, as in over seven years of Ryanair flights into City of Derry airport, and over 20 years of Ryanair-operated flights, such a mistake has never occurred before," it added.
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Old 29th Mar 2006, 15:23
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Oh dear, how short corporate memory can be.

In the days, pre MOL, Ryanair aircraft developed a fascinating and repeated affinity for the old disused Speke airport serving Liverpool. Lads in the tower made a few saves and the Rombac boys gave it a late bit of right hand down a bit to save the day and make it back home to Romania with a VCR under each arm.

Pip, Pip
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Old 29th Mar 2006, 15:24
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Oh my dont you just love it


Ryanair flight lands at wrong airfield in Northern Ireland
(29Mar06 16:27 GMT)

An aircraft operating a Ryanair flight has landed by mistake at a
virtually disused army airfield in Northern Ireland.

Ryanair refuses to comment, but a Police Service of Northern Ireland
spokesman says the aircraft landed at Ballykelly airfield, known locally
as Shackleton Barracks, at 14:47 today instead of its intended
destination of nearby Derry/Londonderry.

The exact flight is not known, but unconfirmed suggestions are that it
had come from Liverpool in England, which is consistent with it being
Ryanair flight 9884 due at Derry at 14:25.

The police spokesman at nearby Limavady says: “They are trying to find
steps to get the passengers off and then they are going to bus the
passengers to Derry. Apparently it’s too heavy to take off again while
it’s loaded so they are going to fly it out when the passengers are
off.”

The spokesman was unable to confirm the identity of the aircraft,
although another unconfirmed report suggests it is an Airbus A320 of
Irish carrier Eirjet operating on behalf of Ryanair, which has an
all-Boeing 737 fleet of its own.

Ballykelly is lightly used by UK Army Air Corps and RAF helicopters and
as a sport airfield.

Derry charts warn pilots against the risk of confusion between the two
airfields. Derry has a 5,480ft (1,670m) runway, 08/26, with precision
approach path indicators (PAPI) on 26, and an ILS/DME. Ballykelly
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Old 29th Mar 2006, 15:41
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Why am I not surprised!!!!!!

25 Minute turnarounds!
Insufficient time for proper briefings due to 45 Minute reporting times!

I have been to Derry many many times. But do not agree its easy to mistake Ballykelly for it.

What about your radio aids and GPS as back up guys/gals.

Anyway thank god no one injured.
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Old 29th Mar 2006, 15:53
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Sorry to report I saw the incident happen and also heard it on the radio. The A320 crew elected to go around after losing the ILS signals and asked for circuit details. From a viewing position west of Eglinton I saw the A320 turned downwind RH at EGQB(I believe the pilot said he thought he was to high to land but he looked perfect to me i.e. wrong airfield). The radio at EGAE got rather involved on the servicablity of the ILS and the controller annouced he was listening( on an Icom) to the ident though it could not be recognised. The Calibrater was holding at 15miles east and all the lights were on even the flashing lead in approach lights. The A320 turned tight base at Ballykelly and then disappeared from my view. The controller asked for a DME and pilot reported on the ground. He landed on 26 at EGQB stopping just short of the railway line that crosses the runway.

Unfortunate error or lots of errors I am afraid.
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