Question about a landing...


For all of you pilots out there I witnessed a strange landing this evening and had a question about it.

This flight was landing this evening and I was listening on the scanner and I don’t remember if I heard “…cleared for the visual to runway 17.” I don’t know if it matters but I thought he was on an ILS approach (I think that is the proper terminology) into 17. I was at the observation area on the South end of the field and just before he landed, and when he was maybe 100-150 ft AGL, he made a hard right turn and landed on runway 26R.

Is what he did an “acceptable” maneuver as far as the Tower and/or the FAA are concerned? There was not any traffic landing, departing, or on approach to any of the runways crossing 17. The only traffic around was on taxiway Foxtrot between Victor and Golf.

If any of the information or terminology I posted is incorrect please feel free to correct me, just be gentle.


It sounds like you were listening to the approach controller and not the tower. Who knows what his conversation was with the tower controller, but he was probably cleared to land on the runway he landed on. Otherwise maybe there was an elk or truck on the runway.


I worked in the tower at an airport a while ago that had a business jet that used to ask for a different runway on short final all the time. Approach would clear him for runway 11, then he’d ask for runway 3 with the tower because it’s a shorter taxi. (HTL120 from MSP to ATW)

Anyway, the tower can work IFR airplanes into the local traffic and the aircraft/tower can work out alternate runways if it will be operationally advantageous.