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Delta flight mistakenly lands at Air Force base

Posted: 4:14 PM, Jul 09, 2016
Updated: 2016-07-09 20:14:15Z

Delta Flight 2845 was bound for Rapid City Regional Airport in South Dakota on Thursday when the pilot accidentally landed the Airbus A320 aircraft at at Ellsworth Air Force Base.

The Air Force base is located 10 miles south of the airport, and has a runway oriented in a similar direction. 

The flight re-departed for Rapid City airport later Thursday evening after Delta coordinated with Air Force officials. The flight had departed from Minneapolis earlier in the evening. 

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating Thursday's incident. The crew involved are being taken off-duty during the NTSB's investigation. 

Delta said it has contacted the 130 passengers on board and has 'offered a gesture of apology for the inconvenience.'

"While it was really inconvenient, the crew did a great job of keeping things managed and the passengers informed," passenger Richard Binger said. 

According to the Rapid City Journal, military personnel boarded the plane, one airman with a firearm, and one with a bomb-sniffing dog. The airmen made the passengers close the window shades, but allowed them to use their cell phones. 

The Journal also reported a similar incident took place in 2004 when a flight from Minneapolis landed at the Air Force base with 117 passengers. The pilots were fired after that incident.