And we screw it again, last night a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 with 124 passengers and five crew on board landed at the wrong airport.
Southwest Airlines flight 4013 was a scheduled flight from Chicago Midway (KMDW) to Branson, Missouri (KBBG) airport, but instead of landing at its destination, the aircraft landed 7 miles north at the tiny but busy M. Graham Clark (KPLK) airport.
Runway 12/30 is only 3.738 ft. long and 100 ft. wide at M. Graham Clark airport, we can say that the guys did a pretty good job bringing the aircraft to a safe stop within the runway limits, but at the wrong airport.
Less than two months ago, the Boeing guys landed the Dreamlifter at Col. James Jabara airport, instead of McConell Air Force Base, 9 miles north.
At this point we start wondering, what’s happening to our pilots today? Is that apart from losing our basic flying skills we are also losing our common sense? We are not talking of airports that are beside each other, these are airports several miles apart.
Branson airport runway 14/32 its 7.140 ft. long and 150 ft. wide, almost twice the size of M.Graham Clark, it has ILS, LOC and RNAV (GPS) approach for rwy 32 and RNAV (GPS) approach for rwy 14.
I remember several years ago when a Captain flying in brighter skies now told me – “When you have an airport with an ILS or VOR approach, always set the freq and the final course and crosscheck it on final”. We can say here that just a simple look at the ILS or LOC course could have saved the day, or night.
As you can see in the title and content of this article I always used the term “we” instead of “they”, because I consider is not a matter of finding a person/s to blame and go against him or them. Is a matter of start seriously finding solutions and go back to our sources, if necessary.