Plane geeks and travel junkies alike were transfixed by the story of the gargantuan Dreamlifter (a modified, humpback 747-400 passenger airplane that carries more cargo by volume than any airplane in the world) that accidently landed at teensy Jabara Airport in Kansas instead of McConnell Air Force Base, nine miles away. According to someone, the Dreamlifter needs a runway of 9,119 feet to get airborne at maximum weight and Jabara’s runway is only 6,102 feet long. Ruh roh!
Some of us with overactive imaginations had visions of guys with crescent wrenches spending a month taking the Dreamlifter apart piece by piece and hauling it away, but that’s just silly!
Here’s how they handled it: They quietly escorted the nimrods that landed the thing at the wrong airport to an undisclosed location (where they will presumably be washing planes with toothbrushes for a year), flew in some “specialty pilots” from New York, drained all but the bare minimum of fuel the plane needed to get to McConnell, started it up, undoubtedly said something profound for the ages, and floored that mother.
Indeed, the pilots pushed it so hard they only needed half of Jabara’s runway to get in the air. Unsurprisingly, the thunderous jets broke some runway lights, but miraculously the runway itself is apparently undamaged.