Jet That Made Mistake Landing Takes Off Again - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Jet That Made Mistake Landing Takes Off Again

UPDATE:

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A Boeing 747 that was mistakenly landed at a small Kansas airport has taken off and was expected to land soon at its original destination - a nearby Air Force base with a longer runway for the huge craft.
   
Boeing's 747 Dreamlifter landed Wednesday evening at Col. James Jabara Airport, about 8 miles north of its intended target, McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita. Jabara's runway is 6,100 feet long, shorter than is ideal for an aircraft of that size.
   
Investigators don't know yet why the jet landed at Jabara. The two-person crew was not injured and neither the plane nor Jabara's airport property was damaged.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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NBCNEWS.COM - A behemoth Boeing air freighter bound for McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kan., landed Wednesday night at a nearby smaller commercial airport by mistake, and officials scrambled to come up with a plan to get it back in the air.

More than 10 hours after the mixup, an airport official said they had managed to turn around the "Dreamlifter" on the runway and had determined that it could take off on the shorter runway. "They've assured us they've run all the engineering calculations...and the aircraft is safe for a normal departure at its current weight and conditions here," said Brad Christopher of the Wichita Airport Authority.

He said it took "more than a three-point turn" to get the 235-foot-long plane turned around on the 100-foot-wide runway at Jabara Airport. "They were able to do a very good job," Christopher said.

The 747 aircraft, one of the largest cargo planes in the world, touched down safely at Jabara at 9:38 p.m. CT Wednesday — eight miles from its intended destination. A recording of a radio conversation with air traffic controllers appears to show that crew members were still unsure of their location even after landing at Jabara, which has no control tower and doesn't normally handle cargo traffic.

Wichita Mid-Continent Airport is the main commercial airport in the region. In the recording, one of the pilots can be heard mistakenly telling the control tower at AFB McConnell that they landed at nearby Beech Factory Airport, then asking for details of other airports in the area. "Let me ask you this, how many airports...are there?" one of the crew members is heard asking.

Officials were initially worried that the plane — which weighs 400,000 pounds even when empty — would be grounded because Jabara's 6,100-foot runway is about half the length of the runways at AFB McConnell.

But by morning they had determined there was enough room for a takeoff and scheduled a noon departure. The plane, modified from the Boeing 747 to carry Boeing air parts, is one of only four of its kind.

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