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The Legacy of Douglas Corrigan: "Wrong Way" Landings By Commercial Airliners

Jol A. Silversmith (June 2004; last updated July 2014)

On June 19, 2004, a Northwest Airlines A319, bound for Rapid City, South Dakota (RAP), mistakenly landed at nearby Ellsworth Air Force Base. Although this incident received extensive media coverage, aviators have been landing aircraft at wrong airports since at least Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan flew to Ireland instead of California (although his flight is widely regarded to have been an intentional stunt).


Despite the tremendous advances in navigational technology since 1938, such incidents continue to occur - most often when two airfields are located in close proximity, and a pilot relies on what he sees out the cockpit window rather than his instruments and charts (although air traffic control sometimes shares at least some of the blame).


This website briefly summarizes previous "wrong way" landings by commercial airliners, not including deliberate/emergency landings; landings on the wrong runway at the correct airport; and approaches aborted before the wheels touched the runway - the latter two of which, at least, would markedly increase the length of the list!  (For example, two recently publicized incidents of aborted approaches are an Air Canada A319, which on August 23, 2003 aborted an approach to Vernon instead of Kelowna, British Columbia, and a Britannia Airways 757, which on September 18, 2000 aborted an approach to wrong airport in Tonsberg, Norway.)


To the best of my knowledge, there is no comprhensive source for this information.  
However, an October 14, 1973 article in the Los Angeles Times, “Wrong-Airport Landings: the Pilots Blush,” asserted that “Federal Aviation Administration statisticians list some two dozen wrong-airport landings by airliners in the last five years.”  Additionally, a 1988 article published by the Flight Safety Foundation listed various airports at which air carriers had made approaches or landings, relying on an unpublished NTSB report, but did not identify specific incidents. See http://www.flightsafety.org/ap/ap_mar88.pdf.  In March 2014, the NTSB issued a "safety alert" - highlighting the need for pilots to "[c]heck and confirm destination airport" - which mentioned two recent incidents.  See http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/safetyalerts/SA_033.pdf.

"Wrong way" incidents often receive at least brief mention in the media, and some - but not all - U.S. incidents are entered into the NTSB accident database.  When possible, I have provided a link to an online account of each incident.  Additions and corrections are always appreciated.

I. Confirmed Incidents

2010s

  • January 12, 2014 - A Southwest Airlines 737, bound for Branson Airport in Taney County, Missouri (BKG), mistakenly lands at M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport (PLK).  Link.
  • December 18, 2013 - An Ethiopian Airlines 767, bound for Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), mistakenly lands at Arusha Airport (ARK).  Link.
  • November 20, 2013 - A Boeing Dreamlifter, bound for McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas, mistakenly lands at Jabara Airport (AAO).  Link.
  • October 13, 2012 - A Sriwijaya Air 737, bound for Minangkabau International Airport in Padang, Indonesia (PDG), mistakenly lands at Tabing Airport, a military airfield. Link.
  • August 7, 2012 - A Silver Airways Saab 340B, bound for Clarksburg, West Virginia (CKB), mistakenly lands at Fairmont Municipal Airport (4G7).  Link.
  • October 30, 2011 - An Azul Linhas Aereas E-195, bound for Teresina, Brazil (THE), mistakenly lands at Domingos Rego Airport in Timon.  Link.
  • September 7, 2011 - A Colgan Air Saab 340, bound for Lakes Charles, Louisiana (LCH), mistakenly lands at Southland Field (L75) in Carlyss.  Link.
  • September 13, 2010 - An Aeromexico MD-83, bound for Tuxtla, Mexico (TGZ), mistakenly lands at Francisco Sarabia/Teran Military Airport.  Link.

2000s

  • April 17, 2009 - A TAAG Angola 737, bound for Lusaka, Zambia (LUN), mistakenly lands at Zambia Air Force City Airport. Link.
  • April 8, 2009 - A Turkish Airlines 737, bound for Tbilisi, Georgia (TBS), mistakenly lands at Tbilisi Vaziani, a military airfield. Link.
  • August 16, 2006 - A Turkish Sky Airlines 737, bound for Poznan, Poland (POZ), mistakenly lands at Krzesiny, a military airfield. Link.
  • March 29, 2006 - A Eirjet A320, bound for Derry, Northern Ireland (LDY), mistakenly lands at Ballykelly, a military airfield. Link.
  • December 16, 2005 - A Pakistan International Airlines 737, bound for Karachi, Pakistan (KHI), mistakenly lands at Faisal, a military airfield. Link.
  • September 5, 2005 - A Wings Air MD-80, bound for Minangkabau International Airport in Padang, Indonesia (PDG), mistakenly lands at Tabing Airport, a military airfield. Link.
  • June 19, 2004 - The above-mentioned incident of a Northwest Airlines A319, bound for Rapid City, South Dakota (RAP), mistakenly landing at Ellsworth Air Force Base.
  • January 9, 2004 - A Shuttle America Saab 340, bound for University Park Airport in State College, Pennsylvania (SCE), mistakenly lands at Mid-State Regional Airport in Philipsburg (PSB). Link.
  • January 22, 2003 - A Chatauqua Airlines Embraer 145, chartered by the University of Notre Dame basketball team and bound for South Bend, Indiana (SBN), mistakenly lands at Elkhart Municipal Airport (EKI). See Tom Coyne, "Irish land at wrong airport because of pilot mistake," Associated Press, January 24, 2003.
  • July 30, 2002 - A LOT Polish Airlines aircraft, bound for Kaliningrad, Russia (KGD), mistakenly lands at Chkalovsk, a military airfield. Link.
  • June 27, 2001 - A TAM Fokker 100, bound for Teresina, Brazil (THE), mistakenly lands at Timon. See "Brazilian pilot mistakes private airstrip for urban airport," Deutsche Presse-Agentur, June 27, 2001.
  • March 14, 2001 - A TWA MD-80, bound for Yampa Valley Airport (HDN), in Steamboat Springs, Colorado mistakenly lands at Craig-Moffat Airport (CIG). Link.
  • December 8, 2000 - A BAX Global DC-8, bound for Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport (OSC) in Oscoda, Michigan, mistakenly lands at Iosco County Airport (ECA) in East Tawas. Link.
  • June 17, 2000 - An Air Nova Dash 8, bound for Mont Joli, Quebec (YYY), mistakenly lands at Rimouski Airport (YXK). See "Pilots land at wrong airport," The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec), June 20, 2000.

1990s

  • June 22, 1999 - An Avensa 727, bound for Latacunga Airport (LTX) in Ambato, Venezuela, mistakenly lands at Izamva Airport. [According to some reports, the pilot did not complete the landing but did make contact with the ground.] See "Pilot Attempts Wrong Airport Landing," Associated Press, June 24, 1999.
  • July 16, 1997 - A Continental Express Embraer 120, bound for Lake Charles, Louisiana (LCH), mistakenly lands at Southland Field (L75) in Carlyss. See T.J. Milling, "A familiar landmark? Another Continental plane sets down at same, wrong airport," Houston Chronicle, July 19, 1997.
  • June 2, 1997 - A Saudi Arabian Airlines 747, bound for Madras International Airport (MAA) in Chennai, India, mistakenly lands at Tambaram Air Force Base. Link. 
  • May 11, 1997 - A Continental Airlines 737, bound for Corpus Christi, Texas (CRP), mistakenly lands at Cabaniss Field, an abandoned Navy airfield. Link. 
  • March 27, 1997 - A Sun Pacific International Airlines aircraft, chartered by the Arkansas Razorbacks and bound for Fayetteville, Arkansas (FAY), mistakenly lands at Springdale Municipal Airport (SPZ). Link. 
  • December 24, 1996 - An Atlas Air 747 bound for Pinal Airpark (MZJ) in Marana, Arizona, mistakenly lands at Avra Valley Airport (AVW). Link. 
  • October 15, 1996 - A Nations Air 737, bound for Orlando, Florida (MCO), mistakenly lands at Sanford Airport (SFB). Link. See also "Airline's inaugural flight lands at wrong airport in Orlando," Tampa Tribune, October 16, 1996.
  • October 3, 1996 - A Continental Express aircraft, bound for Lake Charles, Louisiana (LCH), mistakenly lands at Southland Field (L75) in Carlyss. Link. 
  • October 17, 1995 - An aircraft chartered on behalf of the White House press corps, bound for Kelly Air Force Base in Texas, mistakenly lands at San Antonio International Airport (SAT). Link. See also "Press plane lands at wrong airport," United Press International, October 17, 1995.
  • September 5, 1995 - A Northwest Airlines DC-10, bound for Frankfurt, Germany (FRA), mistakenly lands in Brussels, Belgium (BRU), approximately 200 miles off course. [In this case, air traffic control has been blamed for providing incorrect flight plan data to the pilots.] Link. See also Don Phillips, "U.S. Jet Bound for Germany Mistakenly Lands in Belgium," Washington Post, October 1, 1995.
  • March 21, 1995 - A Great China Airlines Dash-8, bound for Taipei, Taiwan (TPE), mistakenly lands at Penghu Island. [In this case, the airline has been blamed for providing incorrect instructions to the pilot.] See "Misinformed Pilot Lands at Wrong Airport," Associated Press, March 22, 1995.
  • May 5, 1993 - A Jet Airways 737, bound for Coimbatore, India (CJB), mistakenly lands at Sulur Air Force Base. Link. See also "You have arrived at err..." The Advertiser, May 6, 1993.
  • December 21, 1991 - A United Airlines 757, bound for San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU), mistakenly lands at Fernando Ribas Dominicci Airport (a/k/a Isla Grande Airport; SIG). Link.
  • March 28, 1991 - An Emerald Airlines 727, bound for Central Wisconsin Airport (CWA) in Mosinee, mistakenly lands at Wausau Municipal Airport (AUW). See Robert Imrie, "Pilot, Co-Pilot of 727 That Landed at Wrong Airport Suspended," Associated Press, May 7, 1991.
  • November 24, 1990 - A Wings West Fairchild Metro, bound for San Luis Obispo, California (SBP), mistakenly lands at Santa Maria Airport (SMX). Link. See also David Dietz, "Bay Airliner's Landing at Wrong City Probed: Plane Missed Destination By 36 Miles," San Francisco Chronicle, November 27, 1990.
  • November 8, 1990 - A Continental Express ATR-42, bound for Jackson, Mississippi (JAN), mistakenly lands at Hawkins Field (HKS). Link. See also "National Digest," St. Petersburg Times, November 10, 1990.
  • May 7, 1990 - A Continental Express aircraft bound for Farmington, New Mexico (FMN), mistakenly lands at Aztec Municipal Airport (N19). See “Runway of Choice Was at Wrong Airport,” Rocky Mountain News, May 11, 1990.

1980s

  • March 2, 1989 - A Dan Air BAe 748, bound for Aldergrove Airport (BFS) in Belfast, Northern Ireland, mistakenly lands at Langford Lodge Airport. Link. See also "Flight ends at wrong destination," Independent, March 3, 1989.
  • September 17, 1988 - A Canadian Airlines 737, bound for Cambridge Bay, Northwest Territories (YCB), mistakenly lands at Churchill, Manitoba (YYQ). [According to some reports, the pilots mis-applied the magnetic variation factor from true north necessary for navigation in high latitudes.] See "Canadian jetliner flew 750 miles off course," Miami Herald, September 25, 1988.
  • January 21, 1988 - A Piedmont Airlines F-28, bound for Wilmington, North Carolina (ILM), mistakenly lands at Albert J. Ellis Airport (OAJ) in Jacksonville. Link. See also "Piedmont Jet Lands at Jacksonville Instead of Wilmington," Associated Press, January 23, 1988.
  • December 19, 1987 - An aircraft, bound for San Luis Obispo, California (SBP), mistakenly lands at Santa Maria Airport. (SMX). Link.

  • October 6, 1987 - A United Express BAe 31, bound for Tri-Cities Airport (PSC) in Pasco, Washington, mistakenly lands at Vista Field Airport (S98) in Kennewick. Link. 
  • July 7, 1987 - A Delta Air Lines 737, bound for Lexington, Kentucky (LEX), mistakenly lands at Capital City Airport (FFT) in Frankfort. Link.
  • July 5, 1987 - A Linjeflyg F-28, bound for Ronneby, Sweden (RNB) mistakenly lands at Emmaboda.  Link.
  • November 3, 1986 - An Air France 727, bound for Eliat, Israel (ETH), mistakenly lands at Aqaba Airport (AQJ) in Jordan. Link. See also "Sorry, Wrong Airport," Associated Press, November 3, 1986.
  • February 3, 1986 - A Piedmont Airlines 737, bound for Bush Field in Augusta, Georgia (AGS), mistakenly lands at Daniel Field (DNL). Link. See also "Piedmont Airlines Flight Lands at Wrong Airport in Augusta," Associated Press, February 4, 1986.
  • October 19, 1983 - An Interstate Airlines 727, bound for Redmond, Oregon (RDM), mistakenly lands at Prineville (PRZ). Link.
  • September 7, 1983 - A Pacific Express aircraft, bound for Redmond, Oregon (RDM), mistakenly lands at Prineville (PRZ). Link.
  • November 16, 1982 - A Wein Air Alaska 727, bound for Deadhorse, Alaska (SCC), mistakenly lands at Prudhoe Bay Airport. See Mark F. Bohms v. Administrator, 1983 WL 43433 (N.T.S.B. April 13, 1983) and 1982 WL 44972 (N.T.S.B. September 14, 1982).
  • September 24, 1982 - An Aero Airways DC-8, bound for Stewart International Airport (SWF) in Newburgh, New York, mistakenly lands at Dutchess County Airport (POU). See Administrator v. Kurt E. Holter, Clyde E. Strong, and Philip B. Zane, 5 N.T.S.B. 826 (December 9, 1985). See also Edward Hudson, "Jets Mistake Tiny Airport for Another," New York Times, October 13, 1985.
  • March 18, 1982 - A Frontier Convair 580 bound for Farmington, New Mexico (FMN), mistakenly lands at Aztec Municipal Airport (N19). Link. 
  • October 23, 1980 - A Republic Airlines Convair 580 bound for Golden Triangle Municipal Airport (GTR) in Columbus, Mississippi, mistakenly lands at Columbus-Lowndes County Airport (UBS). Link. See also "FAA Investigating Errant Landing," Associated Press, November 14, 1980.
  • July 14, 1980 - A Delta Air Lines 727, bound for Miami (MIA), mistakenly lands at Fort Lauderdale (FLL). [In this case, air traffic control has been blamed for providing incorrect flight plan data to the pilots.] Link. See also "Controller Reprimanded in Wrong Airport Landing," Associated Press, July 25, 1980.
  • June 20, 1980 - A Delta Air Lines 727, bound for Tampa, Florida (TPA), mistakenly lands at MacDill Air Force Base. Link. See also Tom Zucco, "The Official Tampa Bay Map of the Weird," St. Petersburg Times, October 18, 1991.
  • March 1, 1980 - A Republic Airlines DC-9 bound for Golden Triangle Municipal Airport (GTR) in Columbus, Mississippi, mistakenly lands at Starkville Municipal Airport (STF). See "FAA Investigating Errant Landing," Associated Press, November 14, 1980.

1970s

  • July 31, 1979 - A Western Airlines 737, bound for Sheridan, Wyoming (SHR), mistakenly lands at Johnson County Airport (BYG) in Buffalo. Link. [Buffalo subsequently honored the pilot with a "Lowell Ferguson Days" celebration. Link.See also David Bird and Albin Krebs, "Wyoming Town Fondly Remembers a Mistake," New York Times, July 7, 1981.
  • April 22, 1978 - A Maverick Air aircraft, bound for Tel Aviv, Israel (TLV), mistakenly lands at Beirut, Lebanon (BEY). See "Cargo Pilot Finds Wrong Airport," Washington Post, April 24, 1978.
  • March 24, 1977 - A Pan Am 707, bound for Las Americas Airport in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (SDQ), mistakenly lands at San Isidro Air Force Base. Link. See also "Wrong Airport," Aviation Week and Space Technology, April 4, 1977.
  • August 11, 1976 - An Iraqi Airways 747, bound for Orly Airport (ORY) in Paris, France, mistakenly lands at Le Bourget Airport (LBG). Link. See also "Right City, Wrong Airport," New York Times, August 12, 1976.
  • May 4, 1976 - An SAS DC-9, bound for Norrkoeping, Sweden (NRK), mistakenly lands at Linkoeping (LPI). See "SAS Flight Perfect; Oops. Wrong Field!" Los Angeles Times, May 5, 1976.
  • May 25, 1975 - An Aviaco DC-9, bound for Aldergrove Airport (BFS) in Belfast, Northern Ireland, mistakenly lands at Langford Lodge Airport. Link.
  • December 3, 1974 - A Frontier Airlines 737, bound for Salt Lake International Airport (SLC) in Salt Lake City, Utah, mistakenly lands at Salt Lake Airport No. 2 (U42). Link. See also "Jet Lands at Wrong Field," New York Times, December 4, 1974.
  • June 10, 1973 - A United Airlines 727, bound for Miami (MIA), mistakenly lands at Opa Locka (OPF). Link. 
  • December 14, 1972 – An Interflug Ilyushin-18, bound for Bomaby, Indiana (BOM) mistakenly lands at Juhu Aerodrome. Link.
  • September 24, 1972 - A Japan Airlines DC-8, bound for Bombay, India (BOM) mistakenly lands at Juhu Aerodrome. Link.

1960s

  • May 2, 1969 - A Northwest 727, bound for Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), mistakenly lands at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE). Link. [A later-dated source claims that the flight landed at Pompano Beach Executive Airport (PPM). See "Beautiful Airplane, A Perfect Landing, But Wrong Airport," St. Petersburg Times, June 12, 1973.]
  • January 3, 1969 – A United Airlines 727, bound for Omaha, Nebraska (OMA), mistakenly lands at Council Bluffs (CBF). Link.
  • June 29, 1968 - A Pan Am 707, bound for Karachi (KHI), mistakenly lands at a military airfield in Barrackpore. Link. 
  • December 3, 1967 - An American Flyers L-188, bound for Kansas City, Missouri (MKC), mistakenly lands at Fairfax Airport (KCK). See Administrator v. Joseph C. Howell, 1 N.T.S.B. 564 (July 15, 1969).
  • November 16, 1967 - An Ozark Airlines FH-227, bound for Whiteside County Airport (SQI) in Rock Falls, Illinois, mistakenly lands at Dixon (C73). Link.
  • July 4, 1967 - A TWA 707, bound for Columbus, Ohio (CMH), mistakenly lands at Don Scott Field at Ohio State University (OSU). Link. See also Bob Thomas, "Columbus Recollections: From Stunt to Kangaroo, Aviation Has Rich History," Columbus Dispatch, January 5, 1997.
  • May 31, 1967 - A Spantax CV990, bound for Fuhlsbuttel Airport (HAM) in Hamburg, Germany, mistakenly lands at  Finkenwerder Airport (XFW). See "Personalien Rodolfo Bay Wright," Sueddeutsche Zeitung (October 4, 2000).
  • May 2, 1966 - A LOT Polish Airlines aircraft, bound for Linate Airport (LIN) in Milan, Italy, mistakenly lands at Malpensa Airport (MXP). See "Airliner Lands at Wrong Field," New York Times, May 3, 1966.
  • September 15, 1964 - An Aer Lingus Viscount, bound for Lulsgate Airport in (BRS) in Bristol, England, mistakenly lands at Filton Airport (FZO). Link. 
  • February 10, 1964 - A Delta Convair 880, bound for Jackson, Mississippi (JAN), mistakenly lands at Hawkins Field (HKS). Link.
  • June 5, 1963 - An Eastern Air Lines DC-7, bound for Broward International Airport (FLL), mistakenly lands at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE). Link.
  • August 25, 1962 - A Delta Air Lines DC-7, bound for Jackson, Mississippi (JAN), mistakenly lands at Yazoo County Airport (87I). See "2d Plane Lands at Wrong Field," Boston Globe, August 26, 1962.
  • August 12, 1962 - A United Airlines DC-8, bound for Portland, Oregon (PDX), mistakenly lands at Troutdale (TTD). Link. See also "Jet Lands on Short Runway at Wrong Oregon Airport," New York Times, August 13, 1962.
  • December 26, 1961 - An Eastern aircraft, bound for Idlewild Airport (IDL), mistakenly lands at Mitchel Air Force Base. Link. 
  • October 18, 1961 - A North Central DC-3, bound for Oshkosh, Wisconsin (OSH), mistakenly lands at Fond Du Lac Airport (FLD). Link. 
  • October 12, 1961 - A North Central aircraft, bound for Big Rapids, Michigan (WBR), mistakenly lands at Reed City (RCT). Link. 
  • October 25, 1960 - A Pan Am 707, bound for Heathrow Airport (LHR) in London, England, mistakenly lands at RAF Northolt. Link. See also "Taxis fit for war veterans," Daily Mail, January 18, 1995.
  • July 27, 1960 - A Pan Am 707, bound for Dorval Airport in Montreal, Quebec (YUL), mistakenly lands at Cartierville (YCV). Link. See also "Jet Lands Safely at Wrong Airport," New York Times, July 28, 1960.
  • March 3, 1960 - A Capital Airlines DC-3, bound for Willow Run Airport (YIP) in Detroit, Michigan, mistakenly lands at Muskegon County Airport (MKG). See "F.A.A. Suspends Pilot," New York Times, March 4, 1960.

1950s

  • December 28, 1959 - A United Airlines DC-6, bound for Omaha, Nebraska (OMA), mistakenly lands at Council Bluffs (CBF). Link.
  • May 21, 1959 - A Pan American World Airways aircraft, bound for Honolulu, Hawaii (HNL), mistakenly lands at Hickam Air Force Base. Link.
  • December 8, 1957 - A Delta Air Lines aircraft, bound for Greenwood Municipal Airport in Greenwood, Mississippi, mistakenly lands at Yazoo County Airport (87I). Link. See also “Plane Mired Up at Wrong Airport,” Los Angeles Times, December 9, 1957. (According to “Wrong-Airport Landings: the Pilots Blush,” Los Angeles Times, October 14, 1973, Delta aircraft twice mistakenly landed at Yazoo County Airport in 1957.)
  • July 15, 1953 - A BOAC Comet, bound for Santa Cruz Airport in Bombay, India (BOM), mistakenly lands at Juhu Aerodrome. Link. See also "British Comet Off Safely From Small Bombay Field," New York Times, July 25, 1953.
  • March 25, 1950 - A Greek four-engined aircraft, bound for Northolt Airport in London, England, mistakenly lands at Hendon Field. [The aircraft may have been a C-47 operated by Hellenic Airlines, but I have not been able to confirm this information.] See "Perfect Landing, Wrong Airport," New York Times, March 25, 1950.

II. Unconfirmed Incidents

Many additional "wrong way" incidents have occurred, but I have not been able to locate sufficient information to include them in the list above; any further details about the following, or other incidents, would be appreciated:


2000s

  • October 2006? - A Beech 1900, bound for Oneida County Airport (UCA) in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. mistakenly lands at Prentice Airport (5N2). (A report of this incident is included in the FAA/NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (#715315).)
  • October 2004? - A B757 bound for an unspecified airport under the jurisdiction of the Atlanta Air Traffic Control Center mistakenly lands at another airport 6 miles away. (A report of this incident is included in the FAA/NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (#634514).)
  • September 2002? - A cargo Fairchild SA-226, bound for Anderson Municipal Airport (AID) in Anderson, Indiana, mistakenly lands at Muncie (MIE). (A report of this incident is included in the FAA/NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (#562004).)
  • September 2001? - An ATR-72, bound for Hewanorra Airport (UVF) on the island of St. Lucia, mistakenly lands at Castries Airport (SLU). (A report of this incident is included in the FAA/NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (#524023).)
  • July 2000? - A cargo 727, bound for Nashville, Tennessee (BNA), mistakenly lands at Smyrna (MQY). (A report of this incident is included in the FAA/NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (#478990).)
  • 2000? - A TAM aircraft lands at the wrong airport in Brazil. (The report of the June 27, 2001 TAM incident listed above asserts that two similar incidents had occurred in the preceding year.)

1990s

  • October 1999? - An Embraer 120, bound for Gulfport-Biloxi Regional Airport (GPT) in Gulfport, Mississippi, mistakenly lands at Lowndes County Airport (UBS). (A report of this incident is included in the FAA/NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (#451009).)
  • July 1999? - An L1011, bound for Prince Sultan Air Force Base in Saudi Arabia, mistakenly lands at King Faisal Air Academy. (Reports of this incident are included in the FAA/NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (#443917 and #443003).)
  • March 1999? - A 727, bound for Central Wisconsin Airport (CWA) in Mosinee, mistakenly lands at Stevens Point Airport (STE). (A report of this incident is included in the FAA/NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (#431156).)
  • November 1998? - A BAe 31, bound for Barkley Regional Airport (PAH) in Paducah, Kentucky, mistakenly lands at Metropolis Municipal Airport (M30) in Metropolis, Illinois. (A report of this incident is included in the FAA/NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (#421371).)
  • October 1998? - A Fairchild SA-227, bound for Baxter City Regional Airport (WMH) in Mountain Home, Arkansas, mistakenly lands at Marion County Regional Airport (FLP). (A report of this incident is included in the FAA/NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (#417456).)
  • June 1998? - A cargo aircraft, bound for Appleton, Wisconsin (AQP), mistakenly lands at Oshkosh (OSH). [The aircraft may have been operated by Federal Express, but I have not been able to confirm this information.] (A report of this incident is included in the FAA/NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (#406718).
  • January 1997? - An Embraer 121, bound for Gulfport-Biloxi Regional Airport (GPT) in Gulfport, Mississippi, mistakenly lands at the wrong airport. (A report of this incident is included in the FAA/NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (#358608).)
  • December 1993? - An aircraft, bound for Las Americas Airport (SDQ) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, mistakenly lands at the wrong airport. (A report of this incident is included in the FAA/NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (#259037).)
  • August 1992? - An aircraft, bound for Jacksonville, Florida (JAX), mistakenly lands at Hunter Air Force Base. (A report of this incident is included in the FAA/NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (#218661).)
  • April 1992? - An aircraft, bound for Joplin, Missouri (JLN), mistakenly lands at the wrong airport. (A report of this incident is included in the FAA/NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (#206906).)
  • February 1992? - A cargo aircraft, bound for Deadhorse, Alaska (SCC), mistakenly lands at the wrong airport. [The report suggests that this was at least the third such incident involving a commercial flight at Deadhorse.] (A report of this incident is included in the FAA/NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (#203020).)
  • November 1990? - An aircraft, bound for Golden Triangle Municipal Airport (GTR) in Columbus, Mississippi, mistakenly lands at Columbus-Lowndes County Airport (UBS). (A report of this incident is included in the FAA/NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (#164148).)
  • June 1990? - An aircraft, bound for Las Americas Airport (SDQ) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, mistakenly lands at San Isidro Air Force Base. (A report of this incident is included in the FAA/NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (#149634).)
  • April 1990? - An aircraft, bound for Golden Triangle Municipal Airport (GTR) in Columbus, Mississippi, mistakenly lands at George M. Bryan Airport (STF) in Starkville. (A report of this incident is included in the FAA/NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (#143980).)
  • April 1990? - An aircraft, bound for Cancun, Mexico (CUN), mistakenly lands at Cozumel (CZM). (A report of this incident is included in the FAA/NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (#137211).)
  • February 1990? - An aircraft bound for Golden Triangle Municipal Airport (GTR) in Columbus, Mississippi mistakenly lands at George M. Bryan Airport (STF) in Starkville. (A report of this incident is included in the FAA/NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (#143980).)

1980s

  • August 1988? - An aircraft, bound for Golden Triangle Municipal Airport (GTR) in Columbus, Mississippi, mistakenly lands at McCharen Field (M83). (A report of this incident is included in the FAA/NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (#91886).)
  • July 1988? - An aircraft, bound for Golden Triangle Municipal Airport (GTR) in Columbus, Mississippi, mistakenly lands at George M. Bryan Airport in Starkville (STF). (A report of this incident is included in the FAA/NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (#90608).)
  • July 1988? - A commuter aircraft lands at the wrong airport in Columbus, Ohio. (For a vague report of this incident, see David Dietz, "Short-Haul Pilots Say They Get Worn Out," San Francisco Chronicle, April 9, 1990. A similar incident occurred in Columbus, Mississippi that same month, as listed above.)
  • May 1988? - An aircraft, bound for Rocky Mount-Wilson Regional Airport (RWI) in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, mistakenly lands at Wilson Industrial Air Center Airport (W03). (A report of this incident is included in the FAA/NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (#86869).)
  • January 1988? - An aircraft, bound for Fayetteville, Arkansas (FYV), mistakenly lands at Springfield Municipal Airport. (A report of this incident is included in the FAA/NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (#81126).)
  • January 1986? - A Wings West aircraft lands at the wrong airport in Atwater, California. (For a vague report of this incident, see Jonathan Dahl, "Exotic flights: The plummeting dog and other strange tales of commuter airlines," St. Petersburg Times, August 7, 1986.)
  • 1984? - An Eastern Air Lines 727, bound for Tampa, Florida (TPA), mistakenly lands at MacDill Air Force Base. [Although the St. Petersburg Times cites this incident, I have not located any reports that confirm it.] Link.

1960s

  • 1963? - An aircraft, bound for Madrid, Spain (MAD), mistakenly lands at Torrejon (TOJ). Link.

1950s

  • 1956-58? - A DC-6, bound for Paya Lebar Airport (QPG) in Singapore, mistakenly lands at RAF Changhai. Link.
  • 1956-58? - A Constellation, bound for Paya Lebar Airport (QPG) in Singapore, mistakenly lands at RAF Changhai. Link.

III. Other Incidents

Finally, although the following incidents do not strictly fit within the scope of this web page, they serve as examples of the many other "wrong way" incidents that have occurred:

  • March 22, 2014 - A Chinese IL-76, bound for RAAF Base Pearce, mistakenly lands at Perth, Australia (PER). Link. 
  • July 20, 2012 - An Air Force C-17, bound for MacDill Air Force Base, mistakenly lands at Peter O. Knight Field (TPF). Link.  
  • August 29, 2008 - Two parachutists, intending to deliver the opening football to a North Carolina-McNeese State game at Chapel Hill, mistakenly land at Duke University’s Wallace Wade Stadium. Link.
  • November 6, 2007 - A private aircraft, bound for Cedar Rapids (CID), mistakenly lands at Des Moines International Airport (DSM). [The aircraft was transporting presidential candidate Barack Obama.] Link.
  • August 8, 2006 - A Nordic Airways MD-80, chartered to operate a Spanair flight to Santiago, Spain (SCQ), is provided incorrect instructions and instead fllies to Sevilla Airport (SVQ), approximately 400 miles off course. Link.
  • July 20, 2004 - A U.S. Air Force B-52, bound for Farnborough, England (FAB) to perform a low pass at an air show, instead performs the low pass at Blackbushe Airport (BBS). Link.
  • May 5, 1997 - A Cyprus Airways aircraft, bound for Larnaca, Cyprus (LCA), lands at Paphos International Airport (PFO). [The pilot, reported to have been working strictly to rule, stated that the landing was necessary to avoid exceeding the total working hours allowed by international regulations.] See "Government blasts pilots union for working to rule," Associated Press, May 7, 1997.
  • April 2, 1997 - A private aircraft, bound for Guatemala City, Guatemala (GUA), mistakenly lands at a military airfield in San Jose. [The aircraft was transporting United Nations Secretary General Butros Butros-Ghali.] See "U.N. chief lands at wrong airport," The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec), April 3, 1997.
  • March 5, 1997 - A private aircraft, bound for Americus, Georgia (ACJ), mistakenly lands at Peachtree-Dekalb Airport (PDK) in Atlanta. [The aircraft was transporting Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. In this case, air traffic control has been blamed for providing incorrect flight plan data to the pilots)] See "Arafat's plane lands at wrong airport," United Press International, March 6, 1997.
  • May 10, 1976 - A private aircraft, bound for Hopkins Airport in Cleveland, Ohio (CLE), mistakenly lands at Burke Lakefront Airport (BKL). [The aircraft was transporting Paul McCartney and Wings to a show at the Coliseum.] See "Memorable Moments: A Quick Look Back at Cleveland History Shows the Events and People Who Helped Make This City a Happening Place," Plain Dealer, August 27, 1995.
  • May 14, 1972 - A private aircraft, bound for Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), mistakenly lands at Detroit City Airport (DET). [The aircraft was transporting presidential candidate George McGovern.] Link.
  • October 22, 1970 - A private aircraft, bound for Kars, Turkey mistakenly lands at Leninakan, Armenia, then part of the Soviet Union. [The aircraft was transporting two U.S. Army generals.] See "U.S. Blames Pilot and Wind For Landing in Armenia," Washington Post, October 28, 1970.
  • 1969 - A Seaboard World Airways DC-8, operating a military charter flight, bound for Da Nang, Vietnam, mistakenly lands at Marble Mountain Air Facility. Link.
  • October 14, 1955 – A U.S. Air Force B-47, bound for Dobbins Air Force Base in Marietta, Georgia, mistakenly lands at Naval Air Station Atlanta. Link. 
  • December 18, 1953 - A U.S. Air Force B-29, bound for Hill Air Force Base in Utah, mistakenly lands at Ogden Municipal Airport (OGD). [One of the eight members of the crew was killed; this is the only "wrong way" fatality that I have confirmed.] See "B-29 Crashes in Smog," New York Times, December 19, 1953.
  • March 31, 1952 - A private aircraft, bound for Teterboro Airport (TEB) in New Jersey, mistakenly lands at Newark Airport (EWR). [The aircraft was piloted by Merrill C. Meigs, who was at that time a consultant to the Civil Aeronautics Administration, and was the namesake of now-closed Meigs Field in Chicago, Illinois.] See "Newark Has Air Visitor," New York Times, April 1, 1952.
  • May 7, 1942 - During the Battler of Coral Sea, a group of Japanese Achi Type 99 bombers mistake the U.S.S. Yorktown for a Japanese carrier and attempt to land. Link.
  • April 12, 1935 - The dirigible Graf Zeppelin, bound for an airdrome in Pernambuco, Brazil, mistakenly lands in a football field. See "Airship Is Damaged: Lands in Wrong Field," New York Times, April 13, 1935.

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