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Two Pilots Who Landed at Wrong Airport Suspended

June 22, 2004|From Associated Press

EAGAN, Minn. — Two pilots who were at the controls of a Northwest Airlines flight when it landed at the wrong airport have been suspended from flying pending an investigation, an airline spokesman said Monday.

Northwest spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch said the two pilots had "been held from service" until the review was complete.

The flight carrying 117 passengers to Rapid City, S.D., veered off course Saturday and landed at nearby Ellsworth Air Force Base. The plane remained on the ground for more than three hours as the pilots told Air Force security officers what went wrong, and a new crew was dispatched to continue the flight.

Air Force Lt. Christine Millette said the pilots reported that they were in contact with Rapid City controllers on their approach when they descended into a cloud. When the plane came out of the cloud, the first runway the pilots saw was at Ellsworth. Millette said the runways are about 7 miles apart.

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