Alaska Airlines pilot on AS flight 27 from Chicago to Seattle made a huge mistake and landed on taxiway instead of runway on December 19, 2015.
The runway and taxiways are same length in Seattle. Luckily, there were no aircraft entering or exiting the taxiway at the time of the landing.
You can read more about this incident on Puget Sound Business Journal here of which below is an excerpt:
Both Alaska Airlines (NYSE: ALK) and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the incident, but neither spokesmen for the organizations would elaborate on what happened or whether any actions, if any, have been taken since.
Taxiways are essentially roads that pilots use to drive aircraft between the terminal and their points for takeoff and landing. Some Sea-Tac taxiways cross the runways, while others, such as the one taxiway where Flight 27 landed, run parallel to the runways.
Landing on a taxiway is dangerous. It could cause a collision with aircraft already on the taxiway or about to cross it.
The taxiway crossings have the equivalent of stop signs, and aircraft can’t proceed without an OK from air traffic controllers, but if a plane were already half-way across when another was coming in to land, it could result in a collision.
You would think that Alaska Airlines pilot would be familiar with their home airport of Seattle and not to land on taxiway by a mistake that could have lead to a disaster. Let’s see what the findings from the FAA and the internal Alaska Airlines inquiries are.