Ooops – Wrong Airfield

During the Vietnam War, a contractor-operated DC-8 landed on the wrong airfield in South Vietnam. The control tower cleared the DC-8 to land at Da Nang airbase, and by mistake the co-pilot landed the plane at Marble Mountain Airfield a remote operating location near Da Nang with a 3200 foot runway. This event is pretty well-known history among the “non-sched” flight crews flying the MAC charters in and out of Vietnam.

When Seaboard World Flight operations got the word on what happened, they contacted Douglas Aircraft corp for advice. Douglas said “take the aircraft apart and ship it home.” FAA said the same thing.

Instead, the pilot and co-pilot elected to try and get airborne on a less than adequate length runway and succeeded, getting in the air about 300 feet from the end of the runway. For safety concerns, the flight engineer and the flight hostesses were left behind at the remote airstrip to the delight of the GI’s who hadn’t seen a round-eye female up close in months.

Part I

And Now Part II

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