Fri, Oct 27, 2006
Plane Lined Up To Land On Closed Runway
A late-night mistake by the pilots of a Northwest Airlink CRJ
last month has raised eyebrows with the Federal Aviation
The Pensacola (FL) News Journal reports the Pinnacle Airlines
jet lined up for landing on runway 17-35 at Pensacola Regional
Airport around 12:30 am September 24... despite the fact the runway
had been closed for repairs since June.
The control tower at the Class C airport had already closed for
the night... but a controller at the Pensacola
TRACON noticed the plane was on course for the closed
runway... and alerted the pilot as the plane was about four miles
The plane circled the airport, and landed uneventfully on the
east-west runway a short time later. But authorities want to know
how the mistake happened in the first place.
Airport Director Frank Miller said the runway was obstructed
with construction equipment and trucks... and that landing lights
on the closed runway were deactivated. The pilot should have
noticed that, he said.
NOTAM A0080/06 has also been effect regarding the runway closure
since June, according to FAA records.
Pinnacle spokesman Phil Reed said the flight, which was inbound
from Memphis, had been delayed more than 90 minutes en route due to
thunderstorms... although the weather was clear in Pensacola when
the plane was coming in for landing.
Reed added the plane's captain resides along the Gulf Coast, and
is familiar with the airport. It is not clear if the captain or the
first officer was handling the approach.
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