Boeing 747 Dreamlifter lands at wrong KS airport (Photo: KWCH)
A massive Boeing 747 Dreamlifter cargo plane that landed at the wrong airport late Wednesday safely took off from that airport shortly after 2 p.m. ET on Thursday. That came after there initially had been concerns that the mistaken airfield's short runway could make it difficult for the aircraft to leave.
The Dreamlifter ended up at the small Colonel James Jabara Airport Wednesday night in an apparent mistake. The flight, which departed from New York JFK, was supposed to fly to the McConnell Air Force Base but instead landed about nine miles away at Jabara.
In a warning that underscored the Dreamlifter's landing an unintended airfield, Wichita officials advised motorists "to avoid area due to jet blast concerns" as the aircraft readied for take off.
After taking off from Jabara, it was expected to take the Dreamlifter about eight minutes to get to its orinigally intended destination, according to CNN.
As for how the jet ended up at Jabara, it appears as though the Dreamlifter's pilots confused it for McConnel AFB, according to air traffic control recordings.
Citing audio from LiveATC.net, Wichita's KWCH TV reports the Dreamlifter was given clearance to land at McConnell AFB but instead landed about 9 miles north at Jabara around 9:20 p.m. CT Wednesday evening.
According to the audio, the Dreamlifter pilots can be heard saying to the McConnell control tower: "Ahh, yes sir, we just landed at the other airport."
The Wall Street Journal adds even after landing, the recordings "indicate that the crew was still disoriented about its location, believing it had landed at Beech Factory Airport, which is home to Beechcraft Inc.'s facilities. In fact, the jumbo jet had landed at Jabara Airport just to the north.
The City of Wichita's Twitter account said no one was injured and there were no reports of damage to property when the plane landed.
The Dreamlifter was custom-built by Boeing to haul large pieces of its 787 Dreamliner from suppliers to the jetmaker's assembly line locations. Boeing claims the massive Dreamlifter aircraft can haul more cargo by volume than any airplane in the world.