Boeing Cargo Jet Lands at Wrong Airport

By Lorraine Boissoneault
Published: November 21, 2013

This photo shows a Boeing 747 Dreamlifter taking off at the Chubu Centraiar International Airport in Japan. The same model of plane mistakenly landed at the wrong airport in Kansas on Nov. 20, 2013. (Wikimedia/Yamaguchi Yoshiaki)

A mammoth cargo plane mistakenly landed in a small Kansas airport late on Wednesday and was stranded for hours while engineers tried to figure out how to get it to its destination 10 miles away.

According to CNN, the Atlas Air 747 Dreamlifter was flying from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and was meant to land at the McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kan. When it came time to land, however, the pilot put the plane down at Col. James Jabara Airport, a smaller airport about 10 miles from the plane's intended destination.

Air traffic control recordings seem to indicate the pilot was confused about where he was meant to land, reports USA Today. Despite the mix-up, no one was injured and there was no damage to the plane.

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The only problem now is how to get the Dreamlifter to the right airport. The 235-foot-long plane is one of four custom aircraft owned by Boeing to haul 787 Dreamliner jet parts around the world, says the Wall Street Journal. It's large enough to hold 19 million golf balls, and its wingspan covers the distance of four three-bedroom homes, reports CNN. The plane requires a runway with a length of 9,199 feet to takeoff, and the runway at Jabara is only 6,101 feet.

Despite the short runway, engineers are saying that it is still safe to takeoff because the Dreamlifter is lighter from using fuel on the flight from New York. The takeoff attempt is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET, says CNN. 

MORE: World's Scariest Airport Runways

A small commercial jet, which skidded off the runway while preparing to take off - at the same spot where a TAM Airlines aircraft, flight JJ3054, crashed - is seen at Congonhas domestic airport, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Sept. 3, 2008, as a GOL airplane takes off behind. (Mauricio LIma/AFP/Getty Images)


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