Oops! Boeing cargo jet lands at wrong Wichita airport

By Ed Payne, CNN
updated 7:19 AM EST, Thu November 21, 2013

(CNN) — Help, I’ve landed and I can’t take off.

A Boeing Dreamlifter landed at the wrong airport in Wichita, Kansas — one with a runway apparently too short for the mammoth cargo plane to take off from again.

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

In fact, it’s a plane that carries major assembly parts for other big planes, such as parts for the 787 Dreamliner from suppliers around the world to its assembly plant in Washington.

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.

It ended up at the much at the much-smaller Jabara Airport on Wichita’s northeast side.

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

There was no damage to aircraft or airport, according to the City of Wichita which runs the airport.

But there was a hitch: 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.

What to do? What to do?

Boeing sent a tug to the airport to move the jet. But, said the affiliate, it broke down on its way.

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





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