Wed, Jun 23, 2004
Grounded Until Investigation Is Complete
Two Northwest Airlines A-319 crew
members are grounded, after they landed over the weekend -- not at
their intended destination of Rapid City (SD), but at Ellsworth
AFB, seven miles away.
Northwest spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch said Monday that the two
pilots "have been held from service" until the investigation into
Saturday's mistaken landing is finished.
As ANN reported Monday, the Airbus, carrying 117 passengers from
Minneapolis (MN) to Rapid City, landed on the wrong field,
something the FAA described as very far out of the norm. The
aircraft was grounded for more than three hours as the flight crew
was first questioned, then replaced by another NWA crew.
A spokeswoman for the Air Force base said the pilots were IMC as
they approached Rapid City Regional Airport. When they broke out of
the clouds, the first runway they saw was at Ellsworth. So, she
said, they simply landed. Only as they were on short final did the
pilots reportedly notice that they were in the wrong place.
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