Boeing 737 Lands at Wrong Airport, Second Plane Close to Making the Same Mistake

Ethiopian Airlines Cargo flight ET3891, which was flying from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to Ndola, Zambia, landed at the wrong airport, with a second airplane close to making the same mistake only a few minutes later.
The plane landed on a runway close to construction workers 1 photo
It happened this past weekend when the pilot of the 18-year-old cargo plane, who was originally expected to land at the Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe Airport, ended up putting the Boeing on the ground at the Copperbelt International Airport.

But there’s a big difference between the two. The Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe Airport is an international airport currently being used by most airlines in Ndola, whereas Copperbelt is still under construction, and it’s not currently in use.

Yes, the Boeing 737-800 landed at an airport still under construction. A video shared on Facebook (and also embedded below) showed the workers close to the runway recording the whole thing with their phones because, seriously now, how often it happens for a plane to show up next to you out of nowhere?

As it turns out, quite often, because only a few minutes later, a second Boeing 737-800 was super-close to landing at the same airport too. However, this time, the pilot flying the plane managed to do a go-around at the very last minute, eventually landing at the correct airplane.

According to reports, the new airport tricks pilots into believing it is the place to land because of the runways oriented in the same directions as on the old one. But of course, the communications with the airport traffic control tower should have made it clear for the pilots to know exactly where to touch the ground, so it’ll be interesting to see how Ethiopian Airlines explains what happened here.

In the meantime, work on the new airport advances at a fast pace, especially because the original completion date has already been pushed back due to the global health issue. The airport was originally supposed to be ready in mid-2020.


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