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October 21st, 2009
06:30 AM ET

FAA probes plane's landing on taxiway

From Marylynn Ryan
CNN Atlanta Bureau Chief

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) - The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating how an international flight into Atlanta's major airport landed on a taxiway instead of a runway early Monday.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/10/21/georgia.taxiway.incursion/art.atl.airport.jpg caption="The pilots of the plane that landed at the Atlanta airport have been relieved from flying duties pending probes."]

FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said Delta Flight 60, from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, was cleared to land about 6:05 a.m. Monday on Runway 27R but landed instead on Taxiway M, which runs parallel to the runway. The flight had 194 passengers and crew aboard, according to CNN affiliate WXIA.

No other aircraft were on the taxiway, and there was no damage to either the taxiway or the plane, a Boeing 767, Bergen said.

A runway or taxiway collision, particularly with one plane preparing to take off and carrying a full fuel load, would be catastrophic.

Bergen said she isn't sure whether or when other aircraft have ever landed on the taxiway at Hartsfield.

Both Runway 27R and Taxiway M are 11,890 feet long, Bergen said, but the runway is marked with white lights while the taxiway is marked with blue lights.

Delta spokesman Anthony Black said the airline is cooperating with the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board in their investigation, as well as conducting an internal investigation. The pilots of the flight have been relieved from active flying pending the completion of these investigations, Black said.

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Filed under: Airline safety
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. john kesrouan

    Back in the 1970's I was on a Pakistan International Airways that landed on the wrong runway at JFK airport in New York. I was sitting in first class and watched the FAA and air traffic controller pile into the airplane to leave the captain and co-pilot teethmarks on their buttocks apart from the real danger they put us in, it was quite entertaining.

    October 22, 2009 at 8:38 am |
  2. Dennis

    You gotta be kidding me. "...pending the completion of these investigations..."

    What is there to investigate?

    October 21, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  3. Ted White, Canton, TX

    We do not a new fairness droctine. The goverment controls too much of our business now! Thank you for your good work, keep it up!
    Ted

    October 21, 2009 at 8:48 am |