Cleared For Foot In Mouth On 17R…

So it seems that some of our airports don’t have sufficient margin available on their runways.  At least if you take into account a year-2015 standard…

More than half of U.S. commercial airports don’t have a 1,000-foot margin at the end of a runway, an overrun area the federal government says is needed as a safety zone, according to statistics supplied by the Federal Aviation Administration.

  Some of the busiest airports in the country—including Los Angeles International Airport, Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport—as well as Baltimore-Washington International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport have more than one runway that doesn’t meet safety standards, according to the FAA.

  The FAA says it is diligently upgrading the runways. The agency expects that all of them will meet the standard by 2015, when they are legally required to do so, according to FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown.

  “Today, 70 percent of commercial service runways have a runway safety area within 90 percent of the standard,” she said, adding that 236 runways were improved as of Sept. 22.

It’s not so much this particular issue, though, that got my attention.  It would appear that the airplanes aren’t the only thing landing without sufficient runway:

“Our runways are out of shape, and the Bush administration has failed to move to correct the problem,” Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, New Jersey Democrat, said yesterday. “If we don’t get serious about runway problems, the result could be disastrous.”

Is there anything that this dingleberry can’t turn into a “Bush” problem?  If the overrun standard isn’t required until 2015, what’s the deal here?

Now if you want to see a short runway, check this out:


  1. Jeff Medcalf says:

    Geez!  It’s a good thing that pilot clearly did the math on the wind speed/direction correctly!  Even with the obvious parallax issue, that plane was less than 100’ from the end of the runway when its main gear came off the ground and it went into ground effect.  That’s close for a C170 – never mind a B747!  One knot wrong could have been a disaster.

  2. I’m kind of amazed that the guy making the video stayed in place.  I’d have been moving well to the side of the runway before the wheels left the ground.

    FYI—I found the original copy of that video at  They don’t have an embedded player or sharing method, so I was lucky to find it also on YouTube. 

    I also came across this video that you might be interested in.  It’s the retirement landing of an SAA 747SP at Rand Airport where it’s going to be put on display at the museum.  At the end, make note of the width of that runway.  Also, the plane will never be able to leave as the runway is short enough to land but not to take off.