Pilot left to use own instincts – and almost lands at wrong airport

Pilot left to use own instincts - and almost lands at wrong airport
Photo: DPA
He almost picked the wrong runway: A pilot from a Spanish airline steered for Airbus’s company airfield rather than the Hamburg airport.
Fuhlsbüttel or Finkenwerder? They are both airfields in Hamburg, but they are 15 kilometers apart. One pilot is now very much aware of that fact.
On the way to Hamburg last Friday, he mistakenly began to land on the Airbus company airfield at Finkenwerder.
The German air traffic authority reported that the plane had already begun to descend when air traffic controllers alerted the pilot to his mistake.
The plane eventually landed safely on the right runway in Fuhlsbüttel.
How did this happen? According to the Hamburger Abendblatt, construction on runway 5 in Fuhlsbüttel meant the “instrument landing system” was unavailable, so the pilot was given permission to fly by sight – which works well, as long as you know where you’re going.
“With the help of his other instruments, the pilot really should have noticed that he was too far from his destination”, an air traffic authority spokeswoman told the Hamburg newspaper.
The flight handbook even warns pilots that there are multiple airports in the city – and not to mix them up. 

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