FAA investigates errant plane


Aug 19, 2002
The News Tribune - Tacoma, WA

FAA investigates errant plane
JOHN GILLIE; The News Tribune
Federal aviation authorities are investigating why an American Airlines jetliner with 111 on board landed on a Sea-Tac Airport taxiway - instead of a runway - earlier this month.
American Flight 1763, an MD-80 twin jet from Dallas, landed on taxiway C in clear weather at 4:21 p.m. March 15, the Federal Aviation Administration acknowledged this week.

Taxiway C is west of Sea-Tac''s two active runways. Fortunately for those aboard the flight, the taxiway, which was built to serve the incomplete third Sea-Tac runway, has infrequent aircraft or vehicular traffic.

The taxiway serves aircraft storage sites on the airport''s west side and a Weyerhaeuser Co. corporate aircraft hangar.

The taxiway parallels the existing runways and matches the west runway''s 9,500-foot length.

Sea-Tac spokesman Bob Parker said that after the incident, airport crews checked the visual markings on both the taxiway and the nearby runway, 16R-35L. Both the runway and the taxiway were properly marked.

Runways have special markings and lighting, including numbers that clearly indicate their designation.

In addition to the clear markings, runways typically sport characteristic black tire marks where landing aircraft tires contact the pavement. Because it is a new taxiway, taxiway C is still light-colored concrete.

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