Liverpool, Derry, er Ballykelly..

This is one for the scrapbook. An Eirjet pilot managed to land his Eglinton bound flight at Ballykelly military airport five miles away. According to one report they had to drive the steps the whole five miles down the road to get the passengers off the plane.

  • Pete Baker

    It’s in the scrapbook, Mick –

    “We may have arrived at the wrong airport”

  • You know, if that was in the US, then some F16’s would probably have taken the plane out before it landed; and instead of sending a stairs up the road, it would have been tanks and a SWAT team. This was an army base, right? And an uncleared plane lands there by accident and we all have a bit of a giggle…

    Still, can you imagine the conversation with the guy who drives the stairs thing –

    – John, I need you to drive the stairs up to the old army landing strip
    – Seriously?
    – Seriously.
    – Cool! I’ve always wanted to do that! Hey, any chance I can drive by my house and wave at the wife?
    – Just drive the stairs, John…

  • Air Buff

    Yes, a bit of an embarrassment. Let’s hear what Michael O’Leary has to say about it, given that he is so outspoken on everything else. I hope the RAF charge him the landing fees that he presumably didn’t have to pay at the Derry City Airport the plane didn’t land at, otherwise he’ll be trying that stunt all over Europe as a further way of cutting costs and maximising profits.

    However, as goofs go, it has nothing on an incident involving the Spanish airline Spantax in the 1970s. One of their planes was destined for Helsinki airport, which lies about 15 km north of the city. The pilot saw a double row of lights about 2 km long and began his final approach. He was quite close to the ground when he noticed huge plumes of flame shooting into the air and aborted his landing. He had been about to land on the Nordic countries’ biggest oil refinery, which lies around 40 kn east of Helsinki and has a long, straight road running right through it. The flames were the waste gases being flared.

    Needless to say, the moons of Jupiter will be tourist resorts before that particular airline is allowed to fly into Finland again.

  • Harry Flashman

    Air Buff I know Micky O’Leary is the devil incarnate to every pointy headed, Irish Times letter writing, bien pensant lefty for having the temerity to allow people the choice of cheap air travel and for showing heavily overmanned, public service unionised, government owned airlines how to fly planes profitably but if you read the article you’ll see that it was an Eirjet plane and pilot and they were merely chartered by Ryanair.

    Just thought I’d point that out.

  • Rory

    Maybe the pilot has a mate who is an embalmer and they had been enjoying some chemicals beforehand.

  • BogExile

    If it had been ‘City of Londonderry’ Airport, the sign would have been bigger and harder to miss. I blame Mitchel McLaughlin. Or somebody.

  • GavBelfast

    Ryanair have already staked a claim to Ballykelly being their 171st European getaway.


    Getaway, indeed.

  • Tochais Siorai

    Direct flights from Liverpool to Dublin Ballykelly.