North America

Delta plane with 130 passengers lands at the wrong airport

Delta A320
Tis Meyer/Planepics.org

The National Transport Safety Board is investigating the landing of a Delta A320 at Ellsworth AFB instead of its intended destination of Rapid City, 7 miles away.

Delta Air Lines confirmed that the flight crew of Delta Flight 2845 on the evening of July 7 conducted a safe landing at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota mistakenly rather than the flight’s intended destination of Rapid City.

The Airbus A320 aircraft, registered N333NW, had 130 passengers on board and was in-bound from Minneapolis/St. Paul. The flight re-departed for Rapid City Thursday night after coordinating with officials.

Rapid City Map

(via Google Maps)

“Delta has contacted the customers of this flight and offered a gesture of apology for the inconvenience”, the airline said in a statement.

The crew has been taken off-duty while an investigation commences by the National Transportation Safety Board.

“Delta will fully cooperate with that investigation and has already begun an internal review of its own”, the airline added.

Ellsworth Air Force Base (AFB) is a United States Air Force base located approximately 10 miles (16 km) northeast of Rapid City, South Dakota. The host unit at Ellsworth is the 28th Bomb Wing (28 BW) assigned to the Global Strike Command’s Eighth Air Force.

Ellsworth Air Force Base has one runway available:

  • Runway 13/31 (concrete): 13,497 feet/4.114 meters

Rapid City Airport has two runways available:

  • Runway 14/32 (concrete): 8,701 feet/2.652 meters
  • Runway 05/23 (asphalt): 3,601 feet/1.098 meters
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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. JohnA

    July 9, 2016 at 4:31 am

    I remember something very similar happening in 1964 at Fairchild AFB near Spokane. Geiger Field (now Spokane Int. Airport) is only about 5 miles away. This was height of cold war and Fairchild had 45 B-52’s loaded up. This happened during the day and you could see the lost civilian plane was instantly surrounded by many jeeps full of armed security.

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