Wednesday March 29
A pilot who landed his passenger jet at a military airbase by mistake has been questioned by aviation authorities.
Thirty-nine passengers and six crew were on board the Ryanair flight from Liverpool, which was due to touchdown at City of Derry airport.
But it landed at neighbouring Ballykelly air field - five miles short of its intended destination.
Passengers laughed at first, when the pilot announced: "Ladies and gentlemen, we have landed at the wrong airport.
"I would ask you to be patient with us."
One passenger said: "I looked out and saw army officers everywhere. It was just unbelievable."
The travellers were eventually coached to the correct destination.
The jet was grounded on the orders of aviation authorities, who demanded an immediate investigation.
Ryanair confirmed the blunder and said, in a statement, that the flight was operated by Eirjet on behalf of Ryanair.
It said: "This incident arose as a result of an error by the Eirjet's pilot who mistakenly believed he was on a visual approach to City of Derry airport."
"The Eirjet pilot was cleared by Air Traffic Control in City of Derry for a visual approach and mistook the nearby Ballykelly for City of Derry."
It added that such a mistake had never happened throughout its 20-year history.