- Pilot must maintain
extra vigilance when identifying the destination airport
at night and when landing at an airport with others in
- Pilots must be
familiar with and include in their approach briefing the
destination airport’s layout and relationship to other
ground features; available lighting such as visual glide
slope indicators, approach light systems, and runway
lighting; and instrument approaches.
Pilots must use the most precise navigational aids
available in conjunction with a visual approach when
verifying the destination airport.
Pilots should confirm that they have correctly
identified the destination airport before reporting the
airport or runway is in sight.
January 12, 2014 a Boeing 737-7H4, Southwest Airlines
Flight 4013, landed at the wrong airport in Branson,
Missouri, in night visual meteorological conditions
(VMC). The airplane was scheduled to fly from Chicago
Midway International Airport, Chicago, Illinois, to
Branson Airport. Instead, the flight crew mistakenly
landed the airplane at M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport,
The flight crew reported that they were flying direct to
a fix for an area navigation (RNAV) approach. They
advised the air traffic controller that they had the
airport in sight; they were then cleared for the visual
approach. Although the correct destination airport was
depicted on their cockpit displays, the flight crew
reported flying to the airport that they visually
identified as their destination; once the airport was in
sight, they did not reference their cockpit displays.
The airplane stopped at the end of the 3,738-ft runway
after a hard application of the brakes
November 21, 2013, a Boeing 747-400LCF (Dreamlifter)
landed at the wrong airport in Wichita, Kansas, in night
VMC. The airplane was being operated as a cargo flight
from John F. Kennedy International Airport, Jamaica, New
York, to McConnell Air Force Base, Wichita, Kansas.
Instead, the flight crew mistakenly landed the airplane
at Colonel James Jabara Airport, Wichita, Kansas. The
flight crew indicated that during their approach to the
airport, they saw runway lights that they misidentified
as McConnell Air Force Base.
The flight was cleared for the RNAV GPS 19L
approach, and the flight crew saw Jabara but
misidentified it as McConnell. The flight crew then
completed the flight by visual reference to the
Jabara runway. Once on the ground at Jabara, the
flight crew was uncertain of their location until
confirmed by the McConnell Air Force Base tower
controller. The Jabara runway is 6,101 ft long,
whereas McConnell runways are 12,000 ft long.