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One sentence caught my attention in the article. “It was a normal landing, if you can say landing a Saab 340 here is normal,” Wilburn said. “He got it in, no problem.” Gee that gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. “He got it in, no problem.”    Is there some problem landing a Saab 340 that you think the general public might like to know about before they get on.  Yes you must have a skilled pilot behind the wheel, but yes it’s normal for a 747 to take off and land.  That’s what they do.  If that’s the best Muscle Shoals International can do, I think I’ll drive.

Often wrong but never in doubt.

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Landing a large turboprop aircraft on a 3200' runway which is only about 5' wider than the wingspan of the plane, for the first time, is a feat I personally find impressive.  The pilots are getting a bad rap about this, but for anyone who flies, especially under a stress full situation, I can see where a mistake could be made.  With the GPS and WAAS technology available today however it is makes it hard not to hit the runway you are looking for if you have everything set up right and with good cockpit management. I bet the pilots are embarassed, but at least they appear "technically" competent to fly the plane....haha

I feel sorry for the pilots as I expect the root cause to be the airline cutting corners.  In other words the pilot may be a less experienced in some areas of aviation.  At the end of the day MSL will regret their decision and commercial traffic will die away from the airport.  If that becomes the case maybe the subsidies will come to and end and we can save a little money.  It makes no sense to subsidize flights to MSL with the proximity of HSV.

I'm certainly no expert on flying , but I was once in a small corporate plane which did not have enough seating for all the passangers so somebody (I volunteered) sat in the co-pilot's seat.

We were going from Memphis to Atlanta, but we were landing at one of the outlying airports , not the  main one in Atlanta.  The pilot had his instructions, and  a map, and was doing all the pilot things talking to air traffic control etc.  Turns out, another of the passengers knew a little about flying and was looking at a map. The pilot was taking us to the wrong outlying airport ! The pilot mad a correction and we actually finally landed where we should have. 

The point of all that is that it is the pilot (or co-pilot) who is responsible where the plane goes, not air traffic control; they only tell the pilot what heading he needs to fly to get to where the pilot tells him he is going. 


Alabama Son, I agree - I would much prefer a light rail from Muscle Shoals to Huntsville with a stop at the airport, but I know that will not happen. 

BTW, neither will stopping the subsidies , once a city gets that fed money rollin' in, they don't  ever want to give it up.

This not uncommon for a older round dial aircraft like a saab with no fms or gps.  Usually happenes when going to a uncontrolled field and the pilot tells enroute ATC they have the field in sight for landing but its the wrong field.  It is easy to do actually as many airports have a similar configuration.  Also when there is no vor at field.

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