Atlas B744 at Wichita on Nov 20th 2013, landed at wrong airport

An Atlas Air Boeing 747-400 Dreamlifter, registration N780BA performing freight flight 5Y-4241 from New York JFK,NY to Wichita McConnell Airbase,KS (USA) with 2 crew, was on a GPS/RNAV approach to McConnel Airport's runway 19L but unintentionally landed on runway 18 of Wichita's Jabara Airport (width 100 feet, length 6100 feet/1860 meters) and managed to stop the aircraft on the runway. The crew subsequently reported to be on the ground and intending to vacate via taxiway D, to which the tower responded puzzled "stand by", then reporting they were about 8nm from the aerodrome. The crew subsequently believed they had landed on Wichita's Beech Airport, the even more puzzled tower controller replied "confirm you landed at Beech Airport?", the crew requested the UNICOM frequency for Beech after the tower had reported the tower was closed at that time of the night. McConnell Tower then reported the coordinates of Beech Airport, the crew returned the coordinates that they were showing, after which tower identified the airport as Jabara according to those position data. In the meantime a person on the ground had arrived at the aircraft and told the crew the local frequency. The aircraft and airport sustained no damage but created a lot of curiosity by spectators.

Jabara Airport was closed, as a precaution all lights were turned off.

A tug was dispatched to Jabara to help turning the aircraft around for a runway 36 departure. In the meantime the aircraft has departed the airport and 19 minutes after departure made it to their true destination McConnel Airport.

Jabara Airport is located about 7.8nm north of McConnel Airport almost on the extended runway centerline of McConnel. McConnell Airport features two parallel runways 01/19 of 12000 feet length/3660 meters.

The FAA is investigating the occurrence.

The NTSB announced they are gathering data of the occurrence.

Airport Officials of Jabara Airport said they were surprised to see such a large aircraft on their runway, an inspection of the runway and airport facilities revealed there was no damage to airport property.

The unexpected aircraft at Jabara attracted a large crowd of spectators watching the departure.

Map (Graphics: AVH/Google Earth):

Źródło: avherald
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