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Thu, Aug 09, 2012

Commuter Airline Pilot Lands At Wrong Airport

Airplane Far Heavier Than Runway Rating

A Silver Airways Saab 340 Turbo landed at Fairmont Municipal Airport in West Virginia (4G7) Tuesday. Normally, that wouldn't be news, but the commuter airliner was actually bound for Clarksburg, and Fairmont's runway is not rated for the 22,000 pound airplane. The single-wheel weight of the runway is listed at 12,500 pounds.

Photographs sent to ANN by reader Rusty Jenkins show the airplane in front of a hangar at the much-smaller airport. According to FAA data, 4G7's runway is 3,194 feet, while Clarksburg (KCKB) has 7,000 feet of pavement available. The performance data for the Saab 340 indicates it needs 4,220 feet at sea level under standard conditions to get airborne. The data shows it needs 3,395 feet to land, or more runway than is available at 4G7.

Fairmont Municipal airport authority president Tom Mainella told television station WBOY that the airline plans to remove the seats from the airplane and fly it out with less than a full load of fuel using short-field techniques. The departure is planned for the early morning hours when the temperature is lower.

According to its website, Silver Airways was formed using the airplanes and other assets of Gulfstream International Airlines based in Fort Lauderdale, FL. It currently offers flights to destinations in Florida and the Bahamas, as well as Cleveland, Atlanta, Washington-Dulles, Pennsylvania, and Montana. The Saab regional airliners were purchased by the carrier as part of a fleet upgrade program which is scheduled to be completed in September of this year. According to the TV station, the airline planned to make its first scheduled flight to North Central West Virginia Airport in Bridgeport on Wednesday. The website indicates that the airline serves Greenbrier Valley Airport (KLWB) in Lewisburg, WV.

(Photo provided by Rusty Jenkins, used with permission)

FMI: www.gosilver.com

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