Sleepy, Sloppy, but Good

Air Mobility Command cited pilot error as the cause of the surprise landing of a C-17 at a small airstrip four miles shy of its intended touchdown at MacDill AFB, Fla., last July, reported the Tampa Bay Times. “The young pilot did a good job landing, albeit on the wrong strip,” said US Central Command boss Marine Gen. James Mattis, who was one of the 23 passengers aboard the July 20 flight, according to the newspaper’s Jan. 24 report. AMC officials said the pilot misjudged his position due to “fatigue, complacency, and a lack of flight discipline,” states the report. The Peter Knight Executive Airport is on Davis Islands across Hillsborough Bay from MacDill. Its runway roughly aligns on the same heading as MacDill’s. The aircrew managed to land the C-17 safely, causing minimal damage to the executive airport’s runway. The Times reported on Jan. 27 that MacDill officials are modifying the way they handle incoming air traffic to mitigate the chances of pilots confusing the two airfields.