The pilot of a C-17 “Globemaster III” headed for MacDill Air Force Base near Tampa, Fla., accidentally put the massive cargo jet down at tiny Peter O. Knight Airport, four miles away from the intended destination on Friday afternoon.
In a video posted to YouTube, onlookers and airport employees were stunned as the quad-engine jet came in for a landing at the small airport. They were even more shocked, albeit relieved, when the pilot earned back some points as he stopped the C-17 on the airport’s short 3,405-foot runway with about 10 feet to spare.
The C-17 weighs nearly 300,000 lbs when empty.
The incident forced a temporary shutdown of the airport until the C-17 burned off some fuel and was able to turn around for a successful takeoff. No one was hurt.
The flight crew was based at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey. There is no word on possible reprimands for the errant pilot.
MacDill and Knight have runways facing the same direction with the same “22” marked on the runway. But MacDill’s runway is 11,500 feet long; not 3,400.