Plane lands at wrong Kansas airport; will try takeoff on short runway

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman! For many people, especially in Wichita, Kan., the hope is that it will be a big cargo plane later Thursday.

Specifically, an Atlas Air 747 Dreamlifter, a cargo plane that is a modified 747 that landed at the wrong airport on Wednesday. It is scheduled to try to take off Thursday even though the runway is considered too short for such a large plane.

The cargo plane left New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport bound for McConnell Air Force Base.

But instead of landing at the military airport on Wichita's southeast side, it landed at the much-smaller, general-aviation Col. James Jabara Airport on the northeast side. When fully loaded, the plane needs a runway 9,199 feet long to take off, according to KWCH. The Jabara runway is 6,101 feet.

A spokeswoman for the airport authority, Valerie Wise, told the station that officials believe the plane, which is lighter because it used fuel on the flight from New York, can lift off from the smaller field.

"The engineers have been running calculations all night," she told the station.

The flight is scheduled for noon CST.

The plane, laden with cargo for Boeing, is owned by Boeing and operated by Atlas Air, Bonnie Rodney, a spokeswoman for Atlas, told reporters. She said an investigation has begun into how the plane landed at the wrong airport.


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