American Airlines plane from Philadelphia nearly landed at wrong Florida airport

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The pilots of an American Airlines plane that took off from Philadelphia nearly landed at the wrong airport in Florida.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, Flight 862 took off from Philadelphia International Airport on Thursday bound for Ft. Myers.

On approach to Southwest Florida International Airport, the pilots made a turn towards Page Field, a general aviation airport more than seven miles away.

Air traffic controllers quickly directed the flight back to the correct airport, the FAA said.

The airliner, an Airbus A320 with 137 passengers and five crewmembers aboard, landed safely and without incident.

Both the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

Page Field is a general aviation airport that used to serve as the region's commercial airport until Southwest Florida International opened in 1983.

A local pilot who examined flight data told the (Fort Myers, Fla.) News-Press the Airbus A320 descended to about 800 feet on approach to Page Field before it climbed back to 1,500 feet and zigzagged to the correct airport.

The longer of the two runways at Page Field is 6,400 feet, while the runway at Southwest Florida International is 12,000 feet long.

The Associated Press and the (Fort Myers, Fla.) News-Press contributed to this report.

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