Delta plane mistakenly lands at military airbase
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Delta plane mistakenly lands at military airbase
WASHINGTON –  A Delta Air Lines jetliner with 130 passengers on board
landed at the wrong airport in South Dakota Thursday evening, said a
spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board, which is
investigating the incident.

The Delta A320 landed at Ellsworth Air Force Base at 8:42 p.m. Central
Time Thursday, when its destination was an airport in Rapid City, board
spokesman Peter Knudson said Friday.

Ellsworth is about 10 miles due north of Rapid City Regional Airport. The
two airports have runways that are oriented nearly identically to the
compass, from northwest to southeast.

Delta Flight 2845 had departed from Minneapolis. A passenger
interviewed by the Rapid City Journal said she and her fellow passengers
waited about 2½ hours in the plane at Ellsworth, where they were ordered
to pull down their window shades as military personnel walked through
the cabin with at least one firearm and a dog.

This was not the first time airline pilots have mistaken the Air Force base
for the Rapid City airport. In 2004, a Northwest Airlines flight carrying 117
passengers to Rapid City landed at Ellsworth. The plane remained on the
ground for more than three hours as the pilots explained to Air Force
security officers what went wrong, and a new crew was dispatched to
continue the flight to Rapid City.
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Delta plane mistakenly lands at military airbase