A Delta flight mistakenly landed at Ellsworth air force base in South Dakota instead of Rapid City Regional located 10 miles way.

Every pilot probably has a story like this–or at least a really close call. Landing at the wrong airport is certainly not a good thing, but not the worst event in the world. However, it is still pretty embarrassing–especially when there are two pilots in the jet. It looks like Delta will have to bring back the “tune, identify, and monitor” class at their ground school.

Delta Flight 2845 left Minneapolis for Rapid City Regional Airport on Thursday evening with 130 people aboard. Instead they found themselves at the home of the 28th Bomb Wing – one of only two B-1B bases in the world. The 28th BW is aligned with Eighth Air Force under Air Force Global Strike Command.

The flight landed at Ellsworth around 7:45 pm local. The two runways are located 5 miles from each other and are oriented in roughly the same direction. However, there are striking differences between the two airports.


B-1Bs from the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, prior to launch for a Green Flag-West mission.
B-1Bs from the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, prior to launch for a Green Flag-West mission.

Ellsworth is 13,500 feet long and 300 feet wide and marked at the threshold with a large “13” number, while the runway at Rapid City Regional Airport is only 8,701 feet long and only 150 feet wide and marked with a large “14”.

The flight then took off and eventually landed nearly three hours later at 11:31 p.m. local time. In a statement released by the airline Delta said: “Delta has contacted the customers of this flight and offered a gesture of apology for the inconvenience.”

What? No free cocktails?

Both the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.

You can read the full story here

Top photo credit: travelpulse.com


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