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United Boeing 737 MAX landed on the wrong runway at Pittsburgh Airport

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United Airlines Flight 2627, a Boeing 737-9 Max, N37513, landed on the incorrect runway at Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on June 21, 2022. The NTSB releases the preliminary investigation into the event.

When United Airlines Flight 2627, a Boeing 737-9 Max, N37513, was cleared for a visual approach and landing on runway 28C at Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, it lined up with and landed on runway 28L instead. This occurred on June 21, 2022, at 0944 eastern daylight time (EDT).

The 174 passengers on board the aircraft were all safe, and there were no damages to the aircraft. The regularly scheduled passenger flight from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Chicago, Illinois, to PIT was operating in accordance with Title 14 Code of Federal Regulation Part 121.

The incidental flight was the first of a three-day trip, leaving from ORD at 08:30 EDT, according to the flight crew.

The aircraft was supposed to touch down in PIT on runway 28L. The first officer was the pilot monitoring, while the captain was the pilot flying.

According to ADS-B data, the incidental aircraft took off from ORD around 08:45 EDT. The takeoff, climb, and departure phases of the flight were all reported by the flight crew to be normal.

The aircraft crew began getting ready for the arrival and approach because this was a brief flight.

An RNAV GPS Y 28C approach to PIT was indicated by the information they collected and reviewed from the automatic terminal information service (ATIS).

They entered this data into the flight management computer before to the top of the descent (FMC).

When the flight crew first made contact with PIT approach control, they were informed to prepare for a visual approach to runway 32 into PIT.

After giving the new approach a briefing, the flight crew loaded the ILS 32 approach into the FMC to facilitate the visual approach.

The flight crew reported that they had a check landing altitude message momentarily shown on the FMC as they were being radar vectored on the downwind and descending through about 4,000 feet Mean Sea Level (MSL).

The aircraft reverted to control wheel steering pitch mode when the message disappeared and with the autopilot activated. They chose level change and then switched back to command mode for the autopilot.

Around 09:18 EDT, the aircraft started to descend, and as it was doing so, approach control requested that they accept a visual approach to runway 28C.

They agreed to the new runway because of the clear skies and 250-degree winds blowing at 4 knots. In order to support the visual approach, the first officer then reprogrammed the FMC for the RNAV GPS Y 28C.

When the aircraft was about 6. 5 miles east of the airport, the flight crew made contact with the local controller.

The crew informed the controller that they were approaching Runway 28C visually, and the controller gave them permission to land there.

The screen was “black, both FMC’s blanked,” according to the captain, with the exception of the aircraft communications, addressing, and reporting system (ACARS) prompt and no FMC prompt, about 2 miles from SUPPR, on an intercept heading, and while descending.

On the mode control panel, the captain used heading select and level change (MCP). However, the aircraft was positioned for Runway 28L when it joined a roughly 6-mile final.

The flight crew asked for confirmation of their authorization to land on Runway 28C when the aircraft was roughly on a 2-mile final and still in alignment with Runway 28L. The flight crew was given the all-clear to land on Runway 28C after the controller informed them that there was mowing going on in the grass area. In order to land on Runway 28C, the flight crew read back their clearance.

The aircraft touched down on runway 28L at around 09:44 EDT, turned right off the runway, and then left the runway at taxiway F5.

When the aircraft was on a short final approach, the controller saw that it was lined up for runway 28L, but determined that given their altitude, it would be more suitable to permit the aircraft to land.

According to the facility, there was a low volume of routinely complex traffic. About 7,500 feet separated the airport traffic control tower from the threshold of runway 28C.

Upon notification, the following NTSB specialists were assigned to investigate this incident: airplane systems, operations, air traffic control (ATC), and recorders.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), The Boeing Company, United Airlines, and the International Air Line Pilots Association are among the parties involved in the investigation (ALPA).

In order to download the data, the digital flight data recorder (DFDR) was removed from the aircraft and shipped to the NTSB’s Vehicle Recorder Laboratory in Washington, DC.

Additionally, one flight management computer (FMC) was taken out of the aircraft for inspection.

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