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The Latest: Delta: Captain in wrong airport landing retired

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — The Latest on the NTSB report blaming pilot error for a Delta Air Lines jet that landed at the wrong airport in South Dakota (all times local):

1:45 p.m.

Delta Air Lines says the captain of a jet that landed at the wrong airport in South Dakota last year retired shortly after the incident.

Delta spokesman Michael Thomas also says the first officer underwent retraining and is back flying for the airline.

The National Transportation Safety Board blamed pilot error for the incident, noting in its final report that the flight crew had been cautioned that the two airports are close and easy to confuse.

Delta Flight 2845 from Minneapolis landed July 7 at Ellsworth Air Force Base, about 6 miles (10 kilometers) northwest of the intended destination, Rapid City Regional Airport.

The report says the two airfields have runways that nearly line up and that pilot confusion between them is “fairly common.”

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9:30 a.m.

The National Transportation Safety Board is blaming pilot error for a Delta Air Lines jet with 130 passengers landing at the wrong airport in South Dakota.

The Delta flight from Minneapolis landed last July at Ellsworth Air Force Base, about 6 miles (10 kilometers) northwest of the intended destination, Rapid City.

The airfields have runways that nearly line up. The NTSB’s report says pilot confusion between the two is fairly common, though controllers and crews usually catch the error before landing.

The NTSB says the Delta pilots misidentified the runway due to excess altitude and failure to use all the navigation information available to them. The crew realized its mistake just before touchdown, but decided it was safest to complete the landing.

Delta did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

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