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Boeing jumbo jet lands at wrong Kansas airport
According to flight-tracking service FlightAware, this particular DreamLifter has been shuttling between Kansas and Italy, where the center fuselage section and part of the tail of the 787 are made.
McConnell is next to Spirit AeroSystems, which also does extensive 787 work. The nearly finished sections are then shipped to Boeing plants in Everett, Wash., and North Charleston, S.C. for assembly into finished airplanes. Boeing is on track to make 10 of them per month by the end of this year.
Because 787 sections are built all over the world — including wings made in Japan — the Dreamlifters are crucial to the 787's construction. Boeing says the Dreamlifter cuts delivery time down to one day from as many as 30 days.
Although rare, landings by large aircraft at smaller airports have happened from time to time.
In July last year, a cargo plane bound for MacDill Air Force base in Tampa, Fla., landed without incident at the small Peter O. Knight Airport nearby. An investigation blamed confusion identifying airports in the area, and base officials introduced an updated landing procedure to mitigate future problems.
The following month, a Silver Airways pilot making one of the Florida airline's first flights to Bridgeport, W. Va., mistakenly landed his Saab 340 at a tiny airport in nearby Fairmont.
The pilot touched down safely on a runway that was just under 3,200 feet long and 75 feet wide — normally considered too small for the passenger plane.
Freed reported from Minneapolis. Associated Press writers Tom Murphy in Indianapolis, Margaret Stafford in Kansas City, Mo., and Joan Lowy in Washington contributed to this report.