Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Oops ... I didn't mean to come this way

We've all done it. Even with a map, we all get lost, take a wrong turning, find ourselves driving up an English motorwayin the wrong direction. Even bus drivers make wrong turns.

A couple of years ago, the official follow-me car in the Belfast Marathon led the runner in front up the wrong street.

By now you've guessed that I'm leading up to some comment on the Ryanair flight FR9884 (operated by Eirjet) which landed at Ballykelly Army Base's airstrip instead of City of Derry airport. The two runways are only five miles apart, face the same way.

Many of us in Northern Ireland still smirk at the memory of the DanAir flight which landed at Nutt's Corner airstrip instead of Aldgergrove (Belfast International Airport). Nutt's Corner hadn't been used as a runway, never mind an airport, for years - the tarmac was overgrown with weeds. At least Ballykelly was in use - though not normally for medium-sized Dash 200 passenger jets.

I find myself sitting on a domestic flight at least twice a week. So what are my priorities for the pilot and first officer?
  • Number 1 - Keep me safe as they take off from the ground, fly through the air, and land again at the far end.
  • Number infinity+1 - Land at the right airfield. Basically, as long as we get down in one piece that counts as success. A bit like taking a wrong turn on the motorway - as long as you don't find yourself upside down in the central reservation, you're still ok.
So I do hope the pilot keeps his job. He'll never make that particular mistake again.
Spoof Ryanair advert

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