LATAM Flight Sao Paulo-Sao Jose Nearly Landed At Wrong Airport

LATAM Flight Sao Paulo-Sao Jose Nearly Landed At Wrong Airport
Rafael Luiz Canossa, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
James Field - Editor in Chief 2 Min Read
2 Min Read

Earlier this week, a LATAM flight between Sao Paulo and Sao Jose nearly landed at the wrong airport in a bizarre incident.

Incident: LATAM Flight Sao Paulo-Sao Jose Nearly Landed At Wrong Airport…

LATAM Flight Sao Paulo-Sao Jose Nearly Landed At Wrong Airport
Data provided by


LATAM flight LA4640 is a routine scheduled flight between Sao Paulo and Sao Jose, with the affected rotation being operated by PR-MHM.

As per data from, PR-MHM is a 16.3 year old Airbus A320 that was delivered to TAM Linhas Aereas back in August 2007.

Following the merger with LAN, the aircraft was re-registered under the LATAM Airlines Brasil name.

Of the A320ceo variant, the carrier has 58 of them, of which 54 are in active service and four are parked, holding an average age of 13.1 years.

LA4640 departed Sao Paulo at 0825 local time on November 14 and proceeded to Sao Jose Do Rio Preto Airport.

As per The Aviation Herald, when the aircraft was on approach into Sao Jose, there seemed to be confusion over a GPS mismatch that the crew experienced.

Upon a go-around, they were handed back to the approach controllers who tried vectoring the Sao Paulo-originating flight back into the arrival field.

The pilots onboard then reported that they were beginning the approach procedure again, but ended up commencing the approach to the same airfield they had mistaken for their destination.

When ATC contacted them, the pilots declined them, saying they were “busy”, before ATC advised them that they were about to land into Catanduva Aerodrome.

Upon that information, they went around again, and were able to land into Sao Jose safely.

For context, if the pilots on the LATAM flight from Sao Paulo continued into Catanduva, they would have likely overshot the runway as it was only 3,232 feet long.

It is unclear whether an investigation will be filed over this.

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