Memo RAAF. How to make the News on a slow day
A C-17 shook up a quiet, picturesque Tampa Bay airport earlier this week when it mistakenly landed on its 3400 feet runway instead of the 11,000 feet runway of a nearby USAF base.
Imagine this happening, without notice, at Bankstown, Albion Park, Essendon, Port Macquarie, Goulburn, or for a spectacular backdrop, Mount Hotham, with one of the RAAF C-17s.
Of course incidents like this have occurred down the years in most countries, with airliners landing at the wrong airport, sometimes on a very marginal runway in terms of their needs, and there have been incidents where jets lined up for example, for a landing at Essendon on a much shorter runway than at the nearby main Melbourne Airport at Tullamarine, but fortunately aborted the approach at the last moment.
In this case the saving grace was the C-17′s renowned short field performance which allowed it to both stop and later leave from the runway, which was suited to light aircraft and general aviation activities, and significantly shorter than Essendon’s runway, which was used, until Tullamarine opened, by BOAC Comet IVs, TAA and Ansett-ANA Boeing 727-100 hot rods, and their smaller DC-9-30s in passenger services and continues to take a wide range of corporate jets.
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