Dreamlifter Takes Flight After Landing Error

The Boeing 747 bound for an Air Force Base mistakenly landed at a small airport in Kansas.
5:29 | 11/21/13

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Transcript for Dreamlifter Takes Flight After Landing Error
This is a special group. Hello anti Hernandez in New York with an ABC news digital special report after -- departure delay there you see it very large plane attempting to take up. From a very small airport in Kansas we're looking at a live picture of the massive Boeing air freighter the dream -- Which it landed at -- airport last night by mistake. It is now finally taking off that plane was supposed to land at McConnell air force base about eight miles away. Originally took off from New York City at the airport after bar where Atlantans is so small that even have a control tower. And normally does not handle Jumbo jets and this is one as big as they come this is the largest cargo -- That one of the largest cargo freight planes in the world 235 feet long so huge it could fit three. For three bedroom homes insides were -- to go to ABC news contributor colonel Steve again -- now. Looks like -- took -- successfully their current. Yeah looks like that -- that hopefully happy ending to well what could have been a very serious incident. Okay any surprises there in terms of the timing of this. They and one point anticipated might be much more difficult for them to take off how -- they get the selling. -- with what they did is they look very closely at how heavy the airplane was and they look at how much runway they had so when that pilots make this take -- calculation. They want to be able to get all we have to take off speed. And be able to abort and stop the aircraft or stop the aircraft before the -- the runway so is just it's just a safe procedure normally they'd be at airports where -- have. 89101000. Feet of runway and it's not a factor but because they landed on an error on an airfield that was much shorter than where they normally operate these kinds of aircraft. -- would probably look very closely and you notice as they came up on the power there the pilots were standing on the brakes they get the engines up to full speed. So that the the engines were developing full thrust before they let go the brakes so they can make as best use of that runways they could. It's as a dangerous -- to take off from that short landing strip. It's not dangerous they looked at it closely but it's something it's it's out of the ordinary in -- -- you're out of the ordinary need to take extra precautions and certainly in this case. Operating that -- an airplane from that small landing strip. Is out of the -- Speaking of taking precautions and out of the ordinary out what happened here in this high tech -- -- it. Ideally at the -- airport. Boy this one's really hard to -- understand other than some somebody made a mistake that the pilots made a mistake in the cockpit. We know last night that it was a nice clear night in that they were actually handed off to the McConnell tower. Way out so maybe 1015 miles out said -- the runways out there on your nose. And what could have happened was that they picked up this shorter runway that's about eight or nine miles short of McConnell. So it's a pretty night they think they -- runway out there and in their mind they say that's our runway and they touched down but that apparently was not the runway. They need to go another eight or nine miles to get to the place where they wanted to go. And -- anything like this ever happened before. This this this has happened before it happened before the airliners with military cargo airplane it's fairly rare but it's not something that should happen there's so much automation and these airplanes today these airplanes are so sophisticated. And there's so many tools that the pilots in the crews have in the cockpit. To prevent these kinds of incidents that things like this really shouldn't happen anymore. Now you know -- we -- some footage of the plane -- the dream -- it is very large you can imagine that they but -- in that plane they wanted to unload and and get out there what can you tell us about this dreamliner that size. Right if you look at me it's it's it's 747400. Which Boeing made for for many many years we're all very familiar with the 747 -- if you look at that hump back on it. It's been highly modified they spent a lot of money to modify for of these aircraft. So they can be opened up and can take the whole fuselage. Of the new 787. That Boeing is building so they can build the fuselage in one place. Open up this dream dream lifter and slide that -- -- and fly off to off to Washington State. Too -- to be completed and so this is a a very specially highly modified aircraft early four of them in the world. Very very expensive and so this would have been a big deal if if these pilots and had broken this airplane in some way. Did they RG -- if they had removed the cargo. Also the -- to make sure that to ensure that the take -- was smoother it was that not a factor in being able to have a successful take from from from. What we're seeing there was nothing remove the aircraft when it landed head was at the end of its previous -- in so there wasn't as much fuel is -- normally would. Again the takeoff roll is determined -- how fast need to get the airplane going to get enough lift under the airplane. And really the determining factor there is how much weight is on the airplane how heavy is the airplane. In this case there's not much fuel in it and so it was still fairly light even though they had a significant cargo load. Rights of everything it just moments ago. Boeing 747 which landed at a rock airport was able to take off from match much shorter landing strip and hopefully successfully. -- on its way through its proper destination. Are colonel Steve -- thank you so much for joining us. Thanks -- you have been watching ABC news digital special report -- Hernandez -- New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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