US & Canada

Jumbo jet safely takes off from tiny Kansas airport

Media captionThe BBC's Catharina Moh: "How did such a huge jet end up on such a small runway?"

A gigantic Boeing 747 Dreamlifter cargo plane has safely taken off from a tiny airport in Kansas after it landed there by mistake.

The huge cargo jet had been heading for McConnell air force base in Wichita, but instead touched down at nearby Colonel James Jabara airport.

No-one was injured and no property damage occurred when the plane landed.

There had been questions as to whether the aircraft would be able to depart from the much shorter runway at Jabara.

The Dreamlifter normally needs a runway of 2,780m (9,119ft) to get airborne at maximum weight; Jabara's runway is only 1,860m long.

Media captionListen to an excerpt from the exchange between the control tower and pilot

A tug was dispatched to the airport to turn around the giant cargo plane.

Brad Christopher of the Wichita Airport Authority told the Associated Press news agency earlier that the company operating the aircraft had "assured us they've run all the engineering calculation and performance and the aircraft is very safe for a normal departure at its current weight and conditions here".

The Dreamlifter, which landed at Jabara on Wednesday evening, is a modified 747-400 passenger aeroplane, which can carry more cargo by volume than any aeroplane in the world, according to Boeing.

The aerospace company uses its fleet of four Dreamlifters to transport large assembled components of its 787 Dreamliner from suppliers around the world to the final assembly location in Washington state.

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