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"...At 12:07 p.m., the crew contacted the MacDill tower, saying it was on the tower's signal and had landing gear down. The tower cleared the Globemaster to land.

The crew visually observed runway 22 at Peter O. Knight, mistaking it for runway 22 at MacDill. The co-pilot began to descend as the additional crew member performed a final safety check. Several mistakes were made at this point, according to the report.

"Multiple visual clues" led the crew to believe it was approaching MacDill, and the plane's low altitude meant the crew could not discern the difference in runway lengths between the two fields.

At the same time, the co-pilot failed to heed several onboard displays that would have shown the plane's true position.

In addition, C-17 pilots routinely turn off a digital navigation page showing their course so they can display a screen showing whether the plane is properly prepared for landing.

The crew failed to visually identify the airfield correctly before the pilot turned off the navigation device. Afterward, the co-pilot failed to monitor the "mission line," a reference to observing the instruments on his side of the plane that would have confirmed whether the plane was landing where it was supposed to.

Four minutes later, the plane touched down at Peter O. Knight.

About halfway down the runway, the crew realized it was at the wrong airport and the co-pilot applied "maximum effort braking" on the smaller runway.

Once the plane came to a halt, the crew radioed MacDill tower that the Globemaster had landed at a different airfield.

Nearly 60 yards long, with a wingspan just as wide, and powered by four giant jet engines, the military gray plane drew a crowd of onlookers once it landed at the small airport near the tip of Davis Islands.

Eight hours later, it took off for the short final leg of its transoceanic flight."
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This certainly not the first such occurence. I remember one while a teenager in Columbus Ohio.

In a mistake so breathtakingly bad it is still recalled 45 years later, TWA pilot Howard Chittenden landed his 707 jetliner, carrying 49 passengers and a crew of seven, at the wrong airport shortly after midnight on July 4, 1967.

Flying from Chicago to Port Columbus in what was described as “broken” weather, the plane was on instrument-flight rules until it approached Columbus. A few miles out, the pilot, a World War II combat veteran, dropped through overcast skies, switched to visual and headed for the runway lights.

As he was making his approach, he realized that the runway lights were at Ohio State University’s Don Scott Field, about 10 miles west of his intended destination. Rather than take the risk of aborting the landing, Chittenden set the plane down on Don Scott’s 4,400-foot runway. It was less than half the length of the intended runway.
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The tower cleared the Globemaster . . .


Was actually a C-17A Globemaster III. Some of us are old enuff to remember riding in Old Shaky {the Douglas C-124 Globemaster II}.

a man who is old enuff

p.s. 6.5 miles NW of Hill AFB is the Hinckley {general aviation} Airport
which more than one poor soul has mis-dentified as KHIF!

[click on the Hi Tacan Rwy 14 for a depiction]
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