Via NYC Aviation, a C-17 Globemaster III landed at Peter O. Knight airport in Tampa, Fla., startling some of the crew on the ground.
Our friends at WTSP-TV in Tampa report that the plane was intending to land at MacDill Air Force Base about five miles away.
Witnesses and nearby homeowners near the airport, when the plane landed, say they could hardly believe their eyes and feared the aircraft may crash through the end of the small runway and end up in Tampa Bay.
“Two words: one starts with O and one starts with S,” said Don Sipila, who guesses that’s what was going through the pilot’s mind moments after his C-17 touched down on the wrong runway.
“It was extremely loud, the wings were wavering a little bit because he was doing a curving type of thing. You could clearly see this was a maximum effort short field landing. You don’t practice these things,” said Sipila.
“We all thought he was going to go off the end. Clearly this was the wrong airport for this aircraft.”
Sipila, a pilot himself, suspects the massive cargo plane got clearance to land at MacDill and thought that’s where he was landing.
“MacDill is about five miles right off the end of this runway and it has the same number: 22 lined up in the same direction. But it’s 11,500 feet long … as a pilot I could see it’s a long runway. This is only 35-hundred feet!”
And the video of the C–17 taking off:[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HILFkFKtV9o&feature=player_embedded#![/youtube]