Passenger plane lands at the wrong airport after pilots ignore their navigation equipment

A Sriwijaya Air flight was scheduled to travel from Medan to Padang but ended up at the wrong airport. Photo / Wikimedia Commons
A Sriwijaya Air flight was scheduled to travel from Medan to Padang but ended up at the wrong airport. Photo / Wikimedia Commons

A passenger plane touched down at the wrong airport after pilots ignored on-board navigation equipment and made a visual approach to land.

The Sriwijaya Air flight was scheduled to travel from Medan to Padang, both in Indonesia.
But, according to reports, instead of arriving at the new airport, the aircraft landed in a military-only airfield that hasn't been used by commercial flights since 2005.

The incident took place on October 13, 2012, but the country's National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) only released its final report on Monday.

Flight SJ-21 was travelling with 96 passengers and six members of crew at the time.

It was scheduled to descend into the new Minangkabau International Airport in Padang but as the pilots made the approach, they spotted the runway for Tabing Airport, which was seven nautical miles away.

The airport had been in commercial use until 2005 but is now a military-only airport according to the Aviation Herald.

NTSC's report revealed that, despite the fact that the on-board navigation equipment was working, the pilots decided to make the visual approach to Tabing Airport airport as they thought the instruments might have been wrong, based on previous experience.

The report said that the unclear information given by the landing chart may also have reduced 'the pilot awareness to the adjacent airport with similar runway direction and dimension'.

It had been the first time both the captain and the pilot have flown to the airport, which may have also contributed to the error.

However, they were able to land the aircraft without incident.

MailOnline has contacted Sriwijaya Air for additional comments.

- Daily Mail

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