Delta flight mistakenly lands at Ellsworth Air Force Base


Federal officials are now investigating why a Delta Air Lines jetliner landed at the wrong airport in South Dakota on Thursday, according to The National Transportation Safety Board.

The Delta A320 landed at Ellsworth Air Force Base at 8:42 pm Thursday, when its destination was an airport in Rapid City, board spokesman Peter Knudson said Friday.

The plane arrived to its intended destination around 11:15pm Thursday according to Delta's flight tracker.

Ellsworth Air Force Base confirmed in a statement to ABC that while it was an unauthorized landing, "Base officials followed the proper procedures to address the situation and ensure the safety of our Airman, their families and the passengers".

Ellsworth Air Force Base (AFB) is a United States Air Force base located approximately 10 miles (16 km) northeast of Rapid City, South Dakota.

This isn't the first time a flight mistakenly landed at the wrong airport.

Delta says the crew has been taken off-duty while an investigation commences by the National Transportation Safety Board. "The aircraft instead touched down at Ellsworth Air Force Base, shortly before 7:45 p.m. local time", the FAA released in a statement to ABC News. One retired charter pilot says the runway setups may be the reason the mistake occurred. The company also said they would launch an internal investigation into the incident and that they will co-operate with officials in the investigations. Delta is cooperating with the government's probe and is conducting its own, the airline said. "Safety is always Delta's top priority", the statement read.

More recently, a Southwest Airlines flight bound for Branson, Mo., mistakenly landed at a much smaller municipal field nearby in January 2014. In 2004, a Northwest Airlines flight carrying 117 passengers to Rapid City landed at Ellsworth.