Boeing cargo jet stuck after landing at wrong airport

Posted on: 7:11 am, November 21, 2013, by , updated on: 01:34pm, November 21, 2013

Boeing cargo jet lands at wrong Wichita airport

WATCH LIVE: Cargo plane attempts takeoff from short runway

(CNN) — A mammoth cargo plane that landed Wednesday night at the wrong airport in Wichita, Kansas — one that typically does not accommodate such beasts — will take off at around noon on Thursday using a runway far shorter than it normally requires, an airport official said.

Late Wednesday night, the plane, which was bound for McConnell Air Force Base from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, missed its mark by about 12 miles.

Instead of landing at the military airport on Wichita’s southeast side, it landed at the much-smaller, general-aviation Col. James Jabara Airport on the northeast side.

Jabara has no control tower and normally doesn’t handle jumbo jets.

The Atlas Air 747 Dreamlifter is a modified 747-400 passenger airplane that can haul more cargo by volume than any airplane in the world.

When fully loaded, the Dreamlifter needs a runway 9,199 feet long to take off, reports affiliate KWCH. The Jabara runway is 6,101 feet. The difference — more than half a mile.

But a spokeswoman for the airport authority, Valerie Wise, cited favorable weather on Thursday and the fact that much of the fuel had been used in the flight from JFK — which lightened the weight of the plane — for the conclusion that it was safe to take off on the shorter runway. “The engineers have been running calculations all night,” she said.

By mid-morning, a tug had moved the aircraft to where it needed to be and a new crew had arrived to fly the plane from Jabara to McConnell Air Force Base. The takeoff attempt is expected around noon (1 p.m. ET).

The plane, laden with cargo for Boeing, is owned by Boeing and operated by Atlas Air, said Bonnie Rodney, a spokeswoman for Atlas. She said an investigation has begun into how the plane landed at the wrong airport.

A spokeswoman for Boeing did not immediately return a call.

CNN’s Dave Alsup, Jake Carpenter and Justin Lear contributed to this report.

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8 comments

  • M.L. Adams says:

    You have to figure that the biggest cargo plane in the world would have an experienced crew…how in the $%^& do they manage to land 12 miles off course…at an airport that doesn’t even have a control tower???

  • jfoster13 says:

    M.L., you expressed my sentiments exactly! How in the heck does that crew land at an airport 12 miles off course and one without a control tower? Their pilot’s license should be suspended immediately!

  • J.T. says:

    Sorry, I know these guys need a job, but this is too serious to overlook. It’s firing time again for Atlas. They’ll have to come up with a higher salary this time, but at least they’ll get competent pilots and ultimately save a lot of money and embarrassment. These “pilots” will need to get jobs as some kind of airport maintenance and support personnel.

  • Bill says:

    Lighten the load by removing the cargo and ship the cargo by several smaller planes that can use that airport. Unless there is only 1 item on the plane.

  • Phillip Moya says:

    Cost of a 747 Dreamliner millions, The look on their face when they landed priceless. I say unload everything off the plane, evacuate everyone in the homes in front of the plane, then floor it.

  • Brandon says:

    It’s not just the crew’s fault. There should of been air traffic controllers talking to this crew the entire time letting them know they are off course.

    Way more then just the crew at fault here. I would like to be a fly on the wall when the controllers are questioned as to how they let this one happen.

  • mitch wood says:

    then its not stuck.

Comments are closed.