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C-17 Globemaster lands at Wrong airport

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posted on Jul, 21 2012 @ 06:33 PM
A huge Air Force C-17 Globemaster unexpectedly landed at a tiny island airport yesterday, screeching to halt within just 10 feet from the end of the runway

The 174-foot-long jet was supposed to land across Florida’s Hillsborough Bay at MacDill Air Force Base but instead touched down at the Peter O.Knight Airport.

‘I saw that plane come in so fast and thought to myself "Never in a million years is he going to make it 'I was waiting for flames.'

The two runways are aligned so it could be pilot error

There is a good video report on the links and footage of it taking off after making it lighter

Work began immediately to lighten the load of the 174-foot-long aircraft so that it might leave Davis Islands safely.
Was it a pilot error or something technical


posted on Jul, 21 2012 @ 06:40 PM
S@#t mistake Nice recovery!

posted on Jul, 21 2012 @ 06:43 PM
I saw this story on the news yesterday and it got a raised eyebrow out of me. They say that the runways line up one after the other so it could have been easy to mistake. I find that a bit unnerving. The Davis Island runway is around 3500 ft and the MacDill runway is over 11,000. To me it would seem that a pilot should be able to differentiate between the two just on visual alone.

Suffice it to say, this pilot won't live this one down anytime soon.


posted on Jul, 21 2012 @ 07:05 PM

The two runways are aligned so it could be pilot error

There is no excuse for landing at the wrong airfield. ILS would have been going bonkers on approach and should have alerted the pilot to his/her error.

In order to miss an airfield, and not be alerted to this, the pilot would have had to have entered the wrong airfield into the approach system.

This is a fail that occasionally catches out a new pilot, but is not acceptable in military pilots.

In Australia, you get written up for missing a the primary catch line and use one of the four reserves. If you use any of the last three you are automatically grounded and will be subject to an investigation of your ability to pilot aircraft for the RAAF.

To give you an idea of the margin of error...there is about 2 meters between each catch line.

This standard is set by a country that has no aircraft carriers.

I could accept a system failure for the approach computer on a private/commercial aircraft, but on a globemaster you have redundant systems that all operate independently of one another. Even if the three approach computers fail, there are three more in reserve (on a separate battery system) and should they fail, the globemaster still has military GPS to track its position.

There is something to this story that doesn't add up......Unfortunately, when military incompetence is concerned....the public are almost always, left in the dark.
edit on 21/7/2012 by OccamAssassin because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 21 2012 @ 07:06 PM
that's an ad for the airforce if I have ever seen one. mad as.

posted on Jul, 21 2012 @ 07:12 PM
Someone selected the wrong ILS. Depending on how far apart they are, it could be easy to do if you weren't paying attention. I can think of three major incidents on Air Force aircraft that happened because someone wasn't paying attention. Two of them occurred because the pilots were shooting the s**t and failed to finish their pre-landing checklists, and caused major damage to the aircraft, and the other caused the total loss of the airframe.

It's happened a number of times with civilian pilots as well, experienced civilian pilots, and experienced crews. I can think of two separate incidents within a year or so of each other where highly experienced crews landed on taxiways, and one took off on the wrong runway and crashed killing everyone on board.

This is something to laugh about, and that the pilot's squadron mates will give him grief over for a long time to come. Luckily for everyone on board the C-17 was designed to land on runways around 3000 feet long.

posted on Jul, 21 2012 @ 07:28 PM
I would like to hear the cockpit recording of this landing
Wheels down-what are these cessnas doin here-umm runway looks a little short
Were runnin out of tarmac
Chill out we still had another 10 feet before we went through the fence but i am gonna need a new flight suit


posted on Jul, 21 2012 @ 07:31 PM
reply to post by cranspace

Right after touchdown there was probably the "more power!" call. It's amazing how much better things go when you actually follow your checklists and pay attention.

posted on Jul, 21 2012 @ 08:03 PM

Originally posted by OccamAssassin

There is something to this story that doesn't add up......

Who says there were US Air Force officers flying the C-17?

Could be foreign pilots. Could also have been an internal bet between some young pilots on whether or not a GlobeMaster could land at that shorter runway. Somebody may have won the bet. What's the General going to do? The young buck proved that runway could be used if ever need be. LOL......

posted on Jul, 21 2012 @ 08:04 PM
So were they able to get it out. And any idea what the cargo was?

posted on Jul, 21 2012 @ 08:29 PM
reply to post by Pervius

It was a USAF C-17 on a mission back from Southwest Asia. They might have one foreign pilot on board, but all the rest of the crew would be US pilots.

reply to post by ImNotHuman

They ran engines for a few hours and burned off fuel to lighten up, and then were able to get out and continue for the extremely short flight to where they were supposed to be. As for cargo, they probably won't ever say anything but equipment of some kind.

posted on Jul, 21 2012 @ 08:33 PM

Originally posted by Pervius
The young buck proved that runway could be used if ever need be. LOL......

Believe it or not but this was my initial thought as to what really happened.

posted on Jul, 21 2012 @ 08:46 PM

Originally posted by OccamAssassin
There is something to this story that doesn't add up......Unfortunately, when military incompetence is concerned....the public are almost always, left in the dark.
edit on 21/7/2012 by OccamAssassin because: (no reason given)

Actually they're not. If there is an AIB report then they are open source, and required to be released to the public.

As for it being kept in the dark:

B-1 gear up at Diego Garcia:

At about 10 p.m. local time on May 8, 2006, a 7th Bomb Wing B-1B Lancer based at Dyess AFB , Texas , made a wheels-up belly landing on runway 31 at Diego Garcia , skidding 7,500 feet down the runway. The aircraft was landing at the end of an 11 hour ferry mission that started at Andersen AFB , Guam . During the landing, the B-1B caught fire and emergency crews extinguished the flames. The four-person aircrew escaped from the plane through the overhead escape hatch. The aircraft was finally removed from the runway 4 days later. The Air Force Accident Investigation concluded the pilots forgot to lower the landing gear. The USAF estimated the damage to the B-1B at $79 million, and the damage to the runway at $14,025. RBRM and those old SEABEES made one tough runway, that's for sure! For those of you who've never seen a $285,000,000.00 bomber on the deck, here she is:

If you just look, the reports are out there, and they're anything but covered up.

posted on Jul, 21 2012 @ 09:20 PM
reply to post by Zaphod58

When you need full power to taxi, you know that something.......


I agree that in situations involving the public.....the investigation will be transparent.

However, coming from a military family, I know all too well that the public story is usually watered down and quite often dis-information (damn I can't believe I used that word without jesting).

To illustrate the point, in the late 80's, a certain US (i'm not going to say warship or aircraft carrier because that may be incriminating
) "boat" was anchored in Port Jackson, Sydney. Some dimwit who was supposed to be doing a mechanical systems check on the main RADAR (48 MW if I'm not mistaken) and fired up the system without removing the magnetron's fuse. The system only did a 5 degree sweep before the 'dimwit' realised his error and shut the system down. In that second or so of operation, the 48MW RADAR fried every microwave in its path for around 40Km (for the other Aussies in here, I had heard of reports that the damage spread as far as Hornsby).

NOTE ...To give AST members an idea of the power involved in running these RADAR's, you are not allowed on deck whilst the main RADAR is at full power because it will crispify(term trademarked and copywrited by me) a human body.

Back to the point, the entire event was covered up because the Aussie brass didn't want to piss off the Yanks, nobody wanted the responsibility of replacing thousands of microwave ovens and quite a few TV's. At the time microwaves were still new technology and therefore very expensive. I later found out that the power company at the time ended up paying for most of the damaged microwaves as they had a log of the power surge but they never found out what actually caused the surge.

To this day we still joke about the "dimwit" who fried the North Shore.

posted on Jul, 21 2012 @ 09:26 PM
reply to post by cranspace

Well, even though it seems to be a hell of an error, I still have to give him props for touching down short, and getting the thing stopped on the runway! Pretty dam good flying in a clutch there! 3500 feet is a very small runway!

I hope he likes flying mail from now on.

posted on Jul, 21 2012 @ 09:33 PM
reply to post by OccamAssassin

Yes, there are times when the cause of an accident is under reported let's say. But on the other hand, I know of a number of them that weren't even tried to alter at all. If you know where to look, then you can usually find the full report (I just downloaded 25 reports that made for interesting reading, a lot more stupidity than this incident, that makes me wonder sometimes what the hell our pilots are doing out there because they sure as HELL aren't flying their jets). I especially love the ones that say, "there was limited media interest in the incident".

It's just a matter of knowing where to look. I know that for the Air Force, there is a requirement that all accident reports are made public. There are certain conditions that aren't required to be released, and they aren't required to release EVERYTHING, such as where the aircraft was operating if it was on a classified mission (which sucks, because there are a couple that are classified that I'd love to read), but if those conditions aren't met, and there is an AIB convened, then eventually the report WILL be released in full, and make for interesting reading.

posted on Jul, 21 2012 @ 10:02 PM
Just read the spec on this aircraft and it seems it was designed to land on runways as short as 3500 feet. The video declared the runway to be 3400 feet so it was 100 feet too short...

posted on Jul, 21 2012 @ 10:22 PM
This gets better though. I just saw one report that General James Mattis, the commander of CENTCOM was onboard as a passenger. Apparently the island turned it into a giant party after it landed.

posted on Jul, 22 2012 @ 12:52 AM

3500 feet is a very small runway!

The real problem could have been not the length of the runway but airfields built for small aircraft many times don't have the reinforced concrete that military runways are built from.

I have heard of a heavy military aircraft making a emergency landing at a light aircraft field and sinking into the runway

posted on Jul, 22 2012 @ 11:06 AM
reply to post by minkmouse

It can land on runways shorter than 3500 feet (if they're expecting the runway to be that short, and touch down prepared for it, unlike this crew), the problem is that they can't take off on less than 3500 feet, if they have any kind of weight on the aircraft. That's why they had to unload cargo, and burn fuel off before trying to take off.

This particular runway is between 3400 and 3500 feet long, depending on the source, and rated for 20,000lbs on a single wheel. The weight here was the biggest factor, and the fact that they weren't prepared for such a short runway when they landed.

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