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Thread: Wrong airports Commercial airlines 737 DC-8 727

  1. #1
    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    Wrong airports Commercial airlines 737 DC-8 727

    When my second favorite airline, Western (Wien was my favorite needless to say), was still flying, they had an operation out of Denver, I believe, that went into Wyoming or Montana. On this day the flight crew ran into a problem.

    Seems there are two airports very near each other that have runways on more or less the same headings, one suitable for 737 operations and the smaller one more for light twin aircraft. On this flight, they landed at the smaller one by mistake.
    The runway surface was paved but not to the point of supporting the weight of a loaded 737. It is my understanding that once the weight of the aircraft started settling down on the strip as the aircraft slowed down, it started to sink in and finally it came to a sudden stop.
    It was kind of odd but most of the passengers really gave the flight crew a big round of applause probably because they lived in that town anyway.

    Since the 737 had self contained boarding stairs there was no problem deplaning.
    Now comes the "fun" part of figuring out how to get the 737 out. Since I don't have enough facts on how that went, maybe someone from that area might remember and share it with us. I am sure it involved Western experiencing a huge bill to repair the runway.


    There are two airports in Florida that have the same problem. The one situation I really remember there involved a DC-8, airline name not important, going into a very, very short runway at night as I recall. Getting that one out really took some planning. The 727s that landed there by mistake were not as much of a problem.

    Everything passable was taken off the aircraft including all the seats and galley equipment. The aircraft was defueled down to 20 minutes fuel and a special flight crew experienced in short field operations was flown in to fly it out. It is my understanding they had to apply for special FAA waiver for the short runway departure. It required all airspace to be cleared in advance to allow takeoff and immediate landing at the other airport because of fuel on board. It was simply a go only operation since it was too short for start stop length at departure weight. As I recall, they made a fairly fast rolling departure when taking the active and everything worked as planned.

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    Ernie,

    Are you sure that you're not talking about the Frontier Airlines B737 that landed in Buffalo WY..?

    They tried to make the Captain the Grand Marshall of a parade the next summer, but Frontier wouldn't let him.


    There was a Braniff B727 that landed at the Council Bluffs IA airport instead of Omaha many years ago. They had to strip it to get it out.

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    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HydroCub
    Ernie,

    Are you sure that you're not talking about the Frontier Airlines B737 that landed in Buffalo WY..?

    They tried to make the Captain the Grand Marshall of a parade the next summer, but Frontier wouldn't let him.


    There was a Braniff B727 that landed at the Council Bluffs IA airport instead of Omaha many years ago. They had to strip it to get it out.
    You know something, that Frontier flight is probably correct since the town of Buffalo rings a bell. Brings back my image of Western.

    I remember the 727 at Council Bluffs but don't have enough information. I was born about 70 miles south of that airport. Share it with us if you can. I am sure many others around the country have run into the same situations over the years and hope they jump in too.

    Thanks for the info HydroCub.

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    Cub junkie's Avatar
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    AlaskaAv whats your point you trying to make fools out of airline pilots? mistakes can be made, I have lined up at the wrong airport but didnt land, Im glad or you would probably hear about it since I was flying a DC 8 you would have fun talking about it while I was viloated by the Feds. sorry for my rant, but tell us about some of your "fopaws" in the professional world.

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    Then there's the 737?? [anyone remember? Friedhelm?] which was on the ILS for Hayden CO, and landed~10 miles short at Craig.

    Heck, I've worked outa both and coulda made that mistake in a Supercub, Craig is 5600'x100, and Hayden is 10,000x150, which looks about the same to me, no grass runway and flat. There's numbers on the asphalt and eveything. Powerplant stacks in a little different position. Oughta be able to land across either one....

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    Ursa Major's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubscout
    Oughta be able to land across either one....
    I have.

    I gotta admit I never mistook Craig for Hayden though.
    Mike

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    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cub junkie
    AlaskaAv whats your point you trying to make fools out of airline pilots? mistakes can be made, I have lined up at the wrong airport but didnt land, Im glad or you would probably hear about it since I was flying a DC 8 you would have fun talking about it while I was viloated by the Feds. sorry for my rant, but tell us about some of your "fopaws" in the professional world.
    Cubjunkie
    At no time have I ever tried to make fools out of airline pilots (or any pilots other than myself) and never will. After all, I spent some 21 years in direct commercial aviation and many more years in fun aviation. My comments are meant to pass on situations that have happened in the area that I spent so many years in and that I was part of. You will also note that I am very careful to never state a flight crew name and the name of any current flying airline just for that reason.

    It is not my intent to have fun degrading anyone, especially pilots, but to let others see a different world of aviation. Lets face it, over 6,300 people have shared my memories and you are the first one in 6,300 readers that has taken exception to something I posted.

    Had you read all of my thoughts, Cubjunkie, you would have read some of my early stupid mistakes and also know I lived through them and at the same time, made fun of myself by name.

    My suggestion Cubjunkie, if you do not like what I am sharing, don't read what I post. Go back and hide under a rock. If you want to go further, take it to Rant and Rave, not here, but you will not see me over there. If you were sorry about the rant as you indicated, you would not have posted what you said in the first place.

    A pilot never degrades another pilot even in jest so what happened to you?

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    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubscout
    Then there's the 737?? [anyone remember? Friedhelm?] which was on the ILS for Hayden CO, and landed~10 miles short at Craig.

    Heck, I've worked outa both and coulda made that mistake in a Supercub, Craig is 5600'x100, and Hayden is 10,000x150, which looks about the same to me, no grass runway and flat. There's numbers on the asphalt and eveything. Powerplant stacks in a little different position. Oughta be able to land across either one....
    Kind of like the two airport in Florida.

  9. #9
    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ursa Major
    Quote Originally Posted by cubscout
    Oughta be able to land across either one....
    I have.

    I gotta admit I never mistook Craig for Hayden though.
    And if you missed Craig and ended up at Sitka, well.....
    Fuel tanks filled to gross weight plus maybe some pocket fuel? Thank goodness for the 10% additional gross weight in Alaska. That adds up to a lot on a 737.

  10. #10
    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supercubber
    Cub Junkie,

    I would have to agree with you, but read below.

    Ernie,

    The incident your talking about was the Frontier 737.

    The captain wasn't even close...he was attempting to land at Casper, Wyoming (CPR) 5348 Elev. on runway 21 length 10,600 ft. Apprch freqs 120.65, Tower 118.3...Muddy Mtn Vor (DDY) 116.2

    He lined up on Buffalo, Wyomings airport (BYG) 4968 Elev. on runway 30 length 6,150 ft. Unicom Freqs 122.80, Crazy Woman Vor (CZI) 117.3

    BYG is 90 nautical miles NW of Casper at the base of the Bighorn Mountains. They did this at night without the aid of runway lights since they had no idea there was pilot activated lighting on the unicom freq.

    They also had no idea they had made a mistake until they were landed and on the ground. After everything was said and done the captain was demoted to the right seat but kept flying the same route and aircraft with Frontier. Frontier must have figured the guy had to be pretty good to have landed where he did as well as he did, even though he had no business being there.

    Since he brought instant fame to the City of Buffalo he was considered a hero there. They even made T-shirts and ball caps depicting the incident and the captains name. I still have mine somewhere.

    But get this....several months after this incident. Another aircraft flew into Casper and landed with the gear up. Passengers thought it was a normal landing, although the aircraft seemed to be sitting a little low.

    The crew insisted they had all green, gear down on the approach. The FAA jacked up the aircraft, restored power to it and actuated the gear...presto the gear came down and locked.

    Guess who the co-pilot was...yep the dude that landed in Buffalo.

    After this the pilot kind of vanished and no one really knows anything as to where or who he is flying for now.
    Really sorry to hear you also think I am trying to make fools of pilots Supercubber as Cubjunkie has said. That's 2 out of 6300.
    That is the last thing in the world I would ever think of doing.
    Maybe best I just quit sharing my aviation life I guess.

    By the way, what you added about that trip was what I had heard too but didn't have enough accurate information to add it. Thanks for sharing.

  11. #11
    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supercubber
    Ernie,

    Should have clarified what I was agreeing with as to Cub Junkies statement.

    I was addressing his statement "mistakes can be made"

    I'm not in agreement that you were trying to make fools out of pilots and did not interpret your post in that way. Sorry I left the door open allowing it to come across that way.
    Thanks guy, really appreciate the comment. I am really ready to just give the whole darn thing up. Never in my mind have I ever tried to degrade a pilot in any way. That just never happens in commercial aviation. I just can't understand where Cubjunkie got his idea from and when he takes the fun away from my sharing my thoughts, it is not fun any longer so why do it.

    Thanks again......

  12. #12
    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supercubber
    Cub Junkie,

    I would have to agree with you, but read below.

    Ernie,

    The incident your talking about was the Frontier 737.

    The captain wasn't even close...he was attempting to land at Casper, Wyoming (CPR) 5348 Elev. on runway 21 length 10,600 ft. Apprch freqs 120.65, Tower 118.3...Muddy Mtn Vor (DDY) 116.2

    He lined up on Buffalo, Wyomings airport (BYG) 4968 Elev. on runway 30 length 6,150 ft. Unicom Freqs 122.80, Crazy Woman Vor (CZI) 117.3

    BYG is 90 nautical miles NW of Casper at the base of the Bighorn Mountains. They did this at night without the aid of runway lights since they had no idea there was pilot activated lighting on the unicom freq.

    They also had no idea they had made a mistake until they were landed and on the ground. After everything was said and done the captain was demoted to the right seat but kept flying the same route (Denver-Casper)and aircraft with Frontier. Frontier must have figured the guy had to be pretty good to have landed where he did as well as he did, even though he had no business being there.

    Since he brought instant fame to the City of Buffalo he was considered a hero there. They even made T-shirts and ball caps depicting the incident and the captains name. I still have mine somewhere.

    But get this....several months after this incident. Another aircraft flew into Casper and landed with the gear up. Passengers thought it was a normal landing, although the aircraft seemed to be sitting a little low.

    The crew insisted they had all green, gear down on the approach. The FAA jacked up the aircraft, restored power to it and actuated the gear...presto the gear came down and locked.

    Guess who the co-pilot was...yep the dude that landed in Buffalo.

    After this the pilot kind of vanished and no one really knows anything as to where or who he is flying for now.
    That situation is kind of like the 749 Connie landing at Kotzebue, Alaska gear up. The same captain got in a situation (oh how I love that word) in South America with a company C-130 and ended up burning the whole aircraft up including payload.
    Story elsewhere.

  13. #13
    dave's Avatar
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    I just can't understand where Cubjunkie got his idea from and when he takes the fun away from my sharing my thoughts, it is not fun any longer so why do it.
    Ernie, If you only knew how much we enjoy your posts... I find them interesting, informative, educational, and very well written. In my opinion we (Supercub.org members) are very lucky to have you. Let us know when the book is available.

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    wrong airports

    I know a place that they operate 3 flights a day outv of 1250 meters 737 and 727 no ils you can look it up vag

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    Thanks for all the great stories

    Ernie the stories you have been writing are great don't let one person take the wind out of your sails.I started flying in Alaska in the early seventys and have flown supercubs and Cessnas, Beavers,C82Boxcars,DC6,727,737,747-200and747-400.and have over 26000 hours total time.Every pilot makes mistakes if you live through them you try not to make the same mistake twice.It is always great to talk about them so we can learn from our mistakes.That is what makes us better pilots.Keep up the good work I love to here the stories about the old days.
    Ernie Viens
    Ernie

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    85Mike's Avatar
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    Then there was the 727 going into Portland years ago (25?) at night and ended up 10 miles short at Troutdale. As I remember they had to strip it to get light enough to depart.
    85Mike

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    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 85Mike
    Then there was the 727 going into Portland years ago (25?) at night and ended up 10 miles short at Troutdale. As I remember they had to strip it to get light enough to depart.
    85Mike
    I remember that one too now that you reminded me. As I recall, flying that 727 out was a little more tricky than the DC-8 out of the Florida airport I mentioned above. At least that strip had, as I recall, a designated overrun which made the FAA a little easer to work with when trying to get the ferry permit. Loosing 1/3 power on the 727 instead of 1/4th on the 8 is a lot different on takeoff. JATO anyone?

  18. #18
    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks for all the great stories

    Quote Originally Posted by eviens
    Ernie the stories you have been writing are great don't let one person take the wind out of your sails.I started flying in Alaska in the early seventys and have flown supercubs and Cessnas, Beavers,C82Boxcars,DC6,727,737,747-200and747-400.and have over 26000 hours total time.Every pilot makes mistakes if you live through them you try not to make the same mistake twice.It is always great to talk about them so we can learn from our mistakes.That is what makes us better pilots.Keep up the good work I love to here the stories about the old days.
    Ernie Viens
    If that C-82 you flew was in Alaska, would it have been 02Bravo
    (02 boom boom as we called it) by chance? If so, we used to fly it after the jet pod had been installed topside. What a great aircraft for air cargo into the bush, loaded inbound and empty out usually. As I recall, someone had the gear collapse on landing somewhere with almost no damage. The cockpit was like a freezer in the winter though. Kind of like flying a Cub in the winter with the door open.

    Thanks for the comment, appreciate it.

  19. #19
    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    Re: wrong airports

    Quote Originally Posted by leon tallman
    I know a place that they operate 3 flights a day outv of 1250 meters 737 and 727 no ils you can look it up vag
    In the early years of our 737 operations, we landed at many airports on 5,000 foot gravel. Restricted gross weight at departure of course due to gravel/length. Actually 1250 meters would not be much different if it was paved. Since we would go in loaded with pax, cargo and mail, we would come out fairly light anyway. It was interesting to note when we started flying onto frozen lakes with our 737s in north Alaska, we were allowed by the FAA to consider the surface as paved. Solid is solid they said.

    I am not that familiar with gross and runway lengths on the 727s though.

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    Just heard Northwest had an Airbus land at Ellsworth AFB instead of Rapid City yesterday or today.

    That one will be tough to explain.... bet that stirred up some security issues.

  21. #21
    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HydroCub
    Just heard Northwest had an Airbus land at Ellsworth AFB instead of Rapid City yesterday or today.

    That one will be tough to explain.... bet that stirred up some security issues.
    That is a little different than what I had been talking about. At last the runway was long enough that there was no problem in flying it out but Northwest did have to fly in a different crew to fly it over to the other airport. Security? You bet. All windows shades were immediately pulled down and no one was supposed to even look outside. I have been in the area and personally can see how it might happen except for one thing. Lots of difference in color of aircraft on the ground there compared to those at a civilian airport. I haven't pulled up runways but since there is a lot of wind in the area, I have to assume they all have about the same headings and since the weather was good, probably a VFR landing.

  22. #22
    Taledrger's Avatar
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    Hard to believe that someone could do that with the electronic map, etc a 319 has. One of the rare cases when someone should have been looking inside as much as out.

    Bob

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    SJ's Avatar
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    When flying the VOR 21 (I believe) into Topeka, Forbes, if you break out at the IAF which is Topeka, Billard, you see this nice airport below you and figure this is where you should land. Fortunatley, I just did a low approach, and fortunately, it was in a Duchess, not a 737...

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

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    Piedmont Airlines made similar mistakes in landing at the wrong airports.

    737 landed at Augusta, GA Daniels Field (about 3500ft.) instead of Augusta Bush Field (10,000ft.) The plane was completely stripped to fly it out. (Oh, by the way this 737 didn't have internal airstairs so the pax had to exit on fire department laders.)

    Another Piedmont 737 landed at Hunter AAF instead of Savannah, GA. The big mistake made by the captain was turning around and departing to the correct airport. He didn't have FAA approved performance data for this airoport. (The runway was plenty long enough, but the weight of the paper work didn't equal the gross weight of the plane so...)

    John Scott

  25. #25
    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longwinglover
    Piedmont Airlines made similar mistakes in landing at the wrong airports.

    737 landed at Augusta, GA Daniels Field (about 3500ft.) instead of Augusta Bush Field (10,000ft.) The plane was completely stripped to fly it out. (Oh, by the way this 737 didn't have internal airstairs so the pax had to exit on fire department laders.)

    Another Piedmont 737 landed at Hunter AAF instead of Savannah, GA. The big mistake made by the captain was turning around and departing to the correct airport. He didn't have FAA approved performance data for this airoport. (The runway was plenty long enough, but the weight of the paper work didn't equal the gross weight of the plane so...)

    John Scott
    Interesting John and thanks for sharing the stories.

    The only good thing I can say about that 737 not having the boarding stairs is that the aircraft was a little lighter. No problem getting a light 737 off in 3000 foot on a go only departure and I watched one of our 737s land and turn off the runway in 2200 foot from the end of the runway. Figure what distance down the runway they touched down. Suppose they stopped it in 1200 foot?. I have seen some of our guys practicing short field and soft field departures on very light all cargo flights and it is unbelievable what the aircraft can do. Granted our 737s had been re-engined and had a little more power but still..... I always thought it a good idea since they could experience actual conditions should they run into real problems down the line. We just never told the feds though. I watched a seasoned captain show a new hire first officer what an empty C-46A could do on gravel. It was airborne in about 800 foot and that was with the A model with 3 blade prop and smaller engine.

    The FAA really gets sticky about not getting the proper waivers from them for other than routine operations and if an airline gets caught trying to sneak something by, they will watch like a hound dog for sure.

    You are the first person that has mentioned this in a very long time
    John: on a commercial flight, when the gross weight of the paperwork equals the gross weight of the aircraft, the flight is certified and ready to depart.
    Thanks for reminding me. Ah, the good old days.

  26. #26
    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve
    When flying the VOR 21 (I believe) into Topeka, Forbes, if you break out at the IAF which is Topeka, Billard, you see this nice airport below you and figure this is where you should land. Fortunatley, I just did a low approach, and fortunately, it was in a Duchess, not a 737...

    sj
    You sure it wasn't St Joe Steve?

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