Whoops! Pilots land massive plane at wrong Kansas airport
Posted By Chuck Ross On 1:23 PM 11/21/2013
WICHITA, Kan. – A Boeing Dreamlifter 747 landed at the wrong airport in Wichita, Kan. Wednesday night.
The cargo plane, operated by Atlas Air and used to haul parts for the commercial Boeing 787, was bound for McConnell Air Force Base which is on the south side of Wichita.
But the two-person crew missed their mark by the entire length of the city, instead landing at Jabara airport, a small public airport located on Wichita’s north side.
“Uh, yes sir, we just landed at the other airport,” the Dreamlifter pilot told air traffic controllers. The pilots initially believed that they’d landed the plane at Beech Factory Airport, a nearby airport used by an airplane manufacturer.
Asked by air traffic controllers at McConnell whether they’d circled Jabara or flown straight in, the pilot said they’d taken the latter path. That despite Jabara being closed at the time of landing, which occurred at approximately 9:44 p.m. local time.
The massive plane was too large to turn around on Jabara’s 100 foot wide runway.
In response, Boeing, which has a large facility in south Wichita, dispatched a tug in order to move the huge, white shimmery air vessel.
Throwing a wrench in those plans, the airplane tug broke down en route, though only for about half an hour.
The Daily Caller News Foundation first spotted the stranded tug.
Initially, it was thought that the length of Jabara’s runway would pose a problem for take-off. Under normal conditions a 747 at full-carrying capacity requires 7,545 feet of landing room and 9,901 for take-off. Jabara’s runway stretches only 6,101 feet. Luckily, the mis-landed plane was mostly empty, decreasing its pavement requirements.
Brian Christopher, of the Wichita Airport Authority spokes to reports before 7 a.m. local time. He said that the accidental landing causes no damage. No injuries were sustained. The plane will embark to its original destination around noon on Thursday.
Boeing owns four 747 Dreamlifters. The 235-foot plane has the most carrying capacity, by volume, of any cargo plane in the world, according to Boeing. The plane is used to haul parts for the commercial Boeing 787.
The Federal Aviation Administration issued a statement saying they’d investigate the “deviation”, as part of standard procedure.