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A good story

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  • Member since
    September, 2012
A good story
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, May 14, 2018 12:51 AM

Only because I found the Youtube video that follows, I'd like to relate this story.

In 1962 a UAL flight from Chicago to Portland landed at Troutdale Airport, about 10 miles upriver on the Hood from PDX. At that time, approaches were usually visual, the pilots mistook the airport for the actual destination.

While the main runway at PDX is 8,500 feet, the runway at Troutdale is 4,400 feet.

After the landing, the passengers and baggage were transfered to buses and continued to Portland.

My father was a performance engineer at UAL in SFO MOB, and had ten years with the company. He did a lot of crash data analyses, runway loading and flight performance using their early digital machines. He was 32 in 1962. Three kids.

He flew up to Troutdale in a DC-4 with a test pilots crew. Results of the slipstick suggested they'd make it over the tree line with a certain takeoff weight.

When he told the pilots that he thought it would work, they said;

"Great, because you're coming with us".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRMd62MmePI&app=desktop

 

 

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Monday, May 14, 2018 1:09 AM

Great story GM - looks like she cleared with room to spare, though must have been a bit unnerving for pops!  Bet he was working the slide-rule all the way down the taxi-way ;)

Would make a fantastic forced perspective box diorama from the tower perspective.

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    November, 2016
Posted by cabrown1 on Monday, May 14, 2018 7:43 AM

That's just wild. Have to ask, though, was the crew that goofed "freed up for other opportunities"?

 

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Monday, May 14, 2018 7:47 AM

Hello!

We had something like that a few years ago in Poznan, Poland. Well the main airport for the city is called Lawica - oldest active airport in Poland. We also have a placed called Krzesiny - it's an air force base, and a former factory airstrip of the Focke Wulf Werke. When approaching Lawica you follow a procedure with a turn that is supposed to line you up with the runway. But while you're turning you might see the runway of Krzesiny - and that's what happened to a Turkish airliner, and the strip was lit up and stuff, so they just landed there. Must have been pretty surprised to see lots of military vehicles surrounding the aircraft! After lots of checks and deliberations they decided to take off again and land the aircraft together with passengers some 20 kilometers away, this time on the correct strip!

Have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Monday, May 14, 2018 8:49 AM

Stories of airliners landing at wrong airport are pretty common, but lack the personal story to go with it.  Great post.

Most of those wrong airport events I have heard of seemed to be when there is a military field at the destination city, and the pilots mistake the military field for the civilian one.  The military is usually pretty unhappy :-(

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Monday, May 14, 2018 9:35 AM

Awesome story, Bill......I love it.

BTW, these days wrong airport events aren't as fun as the good 'ol days. Back then it was an embarrassment to the front office crew and an inconvenience to passengers.

These days, licenses get pulled, or at least whatever you call it when a license is revoked for a period of time. Doggone vocabulary senior moment.

FAA has no sense of humor any more.

-Greg

  • Member since
    March, 2010
  • From: Boston
Posted by mach71 on Monday, May 14, 2018 8:25 PM

I'm based at KPDX and fly out of there every workday. I've heard that story many times before. Its really nice to hear/see some background to the incedent. 

Thanks!

sig

  • Member since
    March, 2013
Posted by patrick206 on Monday, May 14, 2018 11:18 PM

GM -

I heard quite a lot about that DC-8 story. A neighbor that became a life long friend was an engineer at UAL, at the time he was in Chicago. I'll bet your Dad knew him, Ed Titus, his wife Anne was the assistant to the company flight physician. Ed was also involved in figuring out a way to get a four engine jet, out of an airport for 172's and light twins.

An old airline joke was when a Captain would make a mistake like that, he would be promoted to a base Chief Pilot position. That way he would have very little time to fly, effective risk management.

Greg - It's called certificate suspension.

Patrick

 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, May 14, 2018 11:48 PM

Kirke W. Comstock

UAL 1952- 2000

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 8:50 AM

Then, there is the old joke, I have heard attributed to Irish pilots (in britain), Polish pilots elsewhere, but is actually a comment about the ground radar operator.  I'll shorten it a bit.  This guy was on a GCA approach somewhere over Europe.  GCA guy says-"You're doing fine.  In line for the runway, glideslope okay... looking good... a bit high, drop it down a bit."

Then we dropped out of the overcast, and there was this big runway- 150 feet long and 5000 feet wide!

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 9:54 AM

British Airways 747 is on final onto Munich.

Captain to Tower:

”BA #### heavy requesting permission to land”.

Tower to flight, in irritated tone:

”Switch to German, BA#####, haven’t you flown to Munich before?”

”Yes I have, but it was a long time ago in a different Boeing and I didn’t stick around”.

 

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 10:01 AM

patrick206
Greg - It's called certificate suspension.

Yep, that's it.

Thank, Cap.

-Greg

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 3:47 PM

Don - huh, huh, that's a good one! :-)))

Have a nice day!

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

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