Air Force Investigates Plane Landing at Wrong Airport

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

TAMPA, Fla. -- A U.S. Air Force pilot made a surprise landing at a tiny island airport in Tampa and the incident is now being investigated. The C-17 was supposed to land at MacDill Air Force Base. Instead it landed at the Davis Island Airport which is about four miles away.

A corporate pilot captured the landing on his I-Phone.

"MacDill's air strip is 11,000 foot long. This one's only 3,400 so it's almost triple the length over there," pilot Ryan Gucwa said.

"The thrust reversers went on full blast.  It was sound-deafening and there was rubber coming from the tires," said witness Don Sipola. "And he stopped just about 10 feet short of the end of the runway."

Most of the planes that take-off and land at the small airport are the size of an SUV. Investigators are working to figure out if it was pilot error that caused the incident.

"I will give them credit that the runways are lined up exactly the same from here all the way over to MacDill and it's pretty much one straight line with the bay in between of it," Gucwa said.

Dozens of onlookers lined up to watch the huge plane take off from the tiny airport. Witnesses said they were curious to see if the plane could take off or if it was going to go off the end of the island.

Even though the landing was scary, the take-off was much different. The large C-17 had a successful departure leaving the crowd in awe.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s