Since we're on the subject, here's this one from 6/19/2004...
ST. PAUL, Minn. – A Northwest Airlines flight that was headed to Rapid City, S.D., landed a few miles off course at Ellsworth Air Force Base, and passengers had to wait in the plane for more than three hours while their crew was interrogated.
Passengers on Northwest Flight 1152, an Airbus A-319 from St. Paul, expected to be welcomed to Rapid City Regional Airport on Saturday, but after about five minutes they were told to close their window shades and not look out, said passenger Robert Morrell.
“He (the pilot) hemmed and he hawed and he said ‘We have landed at an Air Force base a few miles from the Rapid City airport and now we are going to figure out how we’re going to get from here to there,’” Morrell told the St. Paul Pioneer Press by cell phone during the delay Saturday.
Eventually, the captain and first officer were replaced by a different Northwest crew for the short hop to the right airport.
Northwest confirmed that the crew made an “unscheduled landing.”
“The situation is under review and we have nothing further to add,” said Northwest spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch. He would not identify the cockpit crew, or say if the pilot made an error.
Ellsworth controls all air space 40 miles around the base and clears landings at both the civilian airport and the base.
The city’s airport runway is “just over the hill” from Ellsworth, and the Northwest crew had to descend through a layer of clouds, said a base spokeswoman, Lt. Christine Millette.
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.
NOTE: The above story was not copyrighted, nor source credited.