Thursday, November 21, 2013

Update: Oops - Atlas Air Flight 4241 Lands at Wrong Airport

Update: Giant 4241 has departed KAAO for KIAB and only used 4000 foot of runway. Video of the lift off at Jabara at And still another view of the beginning of the takeoff of the Dreamlifter

Imagine standing around the FBO at a small Kansas airport in the dark of night and out of nowhere see a huge white aircraft landing unannounced at your airport.

Well that is exactly what happened late last night when an enormous Atlas Air cargo plane, a Boeing 747 Dreamlifter, mistakenly landed at the wrong airport in Wichita and is now believed to be stuck there.

The jumbo jet accidentally landed at Jabara Airport (KAAO), but appears to be too large to take off from there. Colonel James Jabara Airport is a public airport located nine miles northeast of the central business district of Wichita, a city in Sedgwick County, KS.

The mammoth plane needs 9,199 feet of runway to take off at maximum weight, but the runway length at Jabara is just 6,101 feet.

Air traffic control audio recorded during the incident shows the disoriented pilots thought they had landed at Beech Factory Airport in Wichita before realizing they were actually at Jabara.

An audio of the event from Live ATC is available by clicking here. Audio at link above does contains a digital signature. Credit @matthewkeyslive |  Audio edited to remove irrelevant transmissions and silence gaps, otherwise presented as transmitted.

The F.A.A. will investigate that deviation from schedule. But from the radio transmissions posted online (link above) the crew thought it landed at Beechcraft.

Boeing sent a tug to Jabara Airport to turn around the jet. It had a law enforcement escort, but it's top speed was about 13 miles per hour. A late report indicates that the tug broke down.

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