NTSB probes Dreamlifter’s wrong-airport landing

WICHITA, Kan. — The National Transportation Safety Board has opened an investigation into the wayward landing of a Boeing 747 Dreamlifter on Wednesday night at Wichita’s Jabara Airport.

NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson said in an email Friday afternoon to The Wichita Eagle that the investigation would take about six to 12 months to complete.

At 9:40 p.m. on Wednesday, the McConnell Air Force Base-bound jet landed at Jabara, a city-owned general aviation airport nine miles away from the base. The massive airplane, operated for the Boeing Co. by New York-based Atlas Air, was coming from Italy via New York to deliver 787 parts to be stored at Boeing Wichita, which sits next to McConnell’s runway.

The pilots planned to land at McConnell, but by mistake, landed at Jabara, which is much smaller.

After an overnight stay at Jabara, whose runway is much shorter than the one at McConnell, the airplane was flown by a different Atlas Air crew to McConnell on Thursday afternoon.

An Atlas Air spokeswoman on Friday declined to talk about the status of the Dreamlifter’s flight crew who landed the airplane at the wrong airport.

“We are providing our full assistance and cooperation to the regulatory authorities who are investigating the landing and cannot comment on anything further,” Atlas Air spokeswoman Bonnie Rodney said.

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