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Airliner Landing On Interstate 190  
User currently offlineBirdwatching From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 3838 posts, RR: 51
Posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 10568 times:

I drive up and down Interstate 190 a lot (Worcester, MA to Fitchburg, MA) and I was wondering: Why is it so wide? Normal Interstates are 2 or 3 lanes with 1 lane breakdown lane. Interstate 190, however, has an immense breakdown lane, about 4 regular lanes wide, even though there is hardly any traffic, ever.
Is this to allow an airliner to land on that highway? I have found some stretches where a 737 could go down without problems.
Any infos?


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44 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline7574EVER From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 478 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 10511 times:

I would highly doubt it. Also, even if an airliner could fit, highways are not built to hold that kind of weight. The airliner would probably (in a sense) sink into the concrete.


Right rudder....Right rudder...Come on, more right rudder....Right rudder......Aw forget it, I quit!!
User currently offlineMaiznblu_757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 5112 posts, RR: 50
Reply 2, posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 10458 times:

Its happened, check this out....  Big grin


CLICK HERE


User currently offlineCOEWRNJ From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1065 posts, RR: 18
Reply 3, posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 10443 times:

Not saying that the specific road you are talking about was made to accommodate aircraft, but I think for every five miles of interstate there has to be one mile that is straight and able to accommodate an aircraft..

User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 10269 times:

I believe COEWRNJ is correct...during the Cold War and when many of today's interstates were being built, the government required that certain stretches be straight so that a fighter could land if necc. Asphalt should be able to support the weight of a fighter, and especially concrete. A 737 and heavier? Maybe not...



User currently offlineTheflcowboy From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 405 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 10211 times:

I don't see why it wouldnt be able to hold a 737. Sometimes you have traffic jams with a bunch of tractor trailers. Granted its not as much as a 737 but get 4 or 5 of em together and im sure its pretty close. The landing site would more than likely crack. Would still be cool.

I think it is still a rule that on true interstates (not the spur ones, like 275/375) that there has to be some strait portion.

MD



A318, A320, A332, A333, B1900, B722, B732, B733, B734, B735, B737, B738, B772, CR1, CR2, CR7, CR9, MD80, MD81, MD82, MD8
User currently offlineApcaz8 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 23 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 10104 times:

There is actually an interesting article at http://geography.about.com/library/faq/blqzinterstaterunways.htm The man that wrote it works for the Federal Highway Administration's office. It says there is no law in effect that requires that. It is more or less an "urban legend."

User currently offlineRyan h From Australia, joined Aug 2001, 1575 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 10094 times:

As has been said earlier some stretches of road that are close to military bases could be used as emergency runways in wartime.
The Swedish Viggen fighter would lend itself for these operations because it has an airliner style thrust reverser unlike most military aircraft which have a parachute to stop them. The viggen also has a fairly short takeoff run.



South Australian Spotter
User currently offlineApcaz8 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 23 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 10074 times:

"Also, while Interstates were created supposedly for defense, the standards for the overpasses on the system don't require a high enough clearance for some essential military vehicles so the Interstates aren't really worth much for moving troops." Summary of the link I posted earlier is at http://geography.about.com/library/faq/blqzinterstaterunways.htm

User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 10002 times:

Why.....is because when the Interstate Road System was set up, sections of highway where made straight just for the reason of using them as runways. You need to remember, when these highways where set up we where in a Cold War with the Soviet Union. Planners thought that if the bases where bombed and destroyed, they would still need places to land and take off.

Now, as time has passed and population has grown, size has been driven by demand. Worcester to Fitchburg has a heavily traveled roadway....Let alone the close proximity to Boston.



"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineMTChemNerd757 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 230 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 9945 times:

According to the US Dept of Transportation, there is nothing about having 1 mile in every 5 (or any portion of it) be straight to land an aircraft. Check this out: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/rw00b.htm

brad



Fight Terrorism - Ride a Bike!
User currently offlineC17Glbm From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 127 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 9905 times:

The only RWY/ Road I know of is located at Ramstein AB in Germany. It used to be a additional runway and was closed down quite a few years back. They turned it into a road leading to the main gate. It's however impossible to land an aircraft on there now.

User currently offlineJfernandez From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 304 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 9836 times:

There's no LAW on the topic, however, some stretches of Interstates were consciously designed with some straight paths in order to possibly be used as such. Of course, then they realized that very straight stretches may help cause falling asleep accidents. Argh.

User currently offlineBigB From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 615 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 9763 times:

I don't know about about landing, but I know for a fact that airliners have crashed on Highways before. I.E. NWA MD-80 crash


ETSN Baber, USN
User currently offlineB757capt From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1421 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 9570 times:

I don't know but it kind of makes sense to have ever 5-10 miles stright for an emergency I.E. Med evac or a War or something god forbid like 9-11


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User currently offlineBeefer From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 390 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 9542 times:

There has never been any regulation or rule that says 1 mile in every 5 of an interstate highway must be straight for use by aircraft.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE STOP propagating this rumor and hoax. Just because you got it in some email that was supposed to claim interesting facts, doesn't mean that it is the truth.


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 16, posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 9399 times:

I heard a rumor from a few co-workers at AS that Aeroflot tried to land one of their russian made jets on WA 509 in SEA back in 1998 or 1999. but that jet never touched the highway. The rumor was said that the close encounter had a few faults. The crew spoke no english and they also have never flown into SEA before. This was in broad daylight from what Ive been told. (Note that WA HWY 509, which is a two lane highway going each direction divided by a grassy median, are parallel to the runways @ SEA so that is probably what caused the confusion.) While the incident happened the ATC was looking for someone who spoke russian so that ATC can communicate with the Aeroflot crew. Finally they landed the russian made aircraft safely and for some reason the F.A.A. detained the pilots for questioning and siezed the aircraft pending investigation. Hearing this from a variety of different people from different work groups, I honestly dont know if this story was, in fact, true. Does anyone know anything about this incident at all?

I was also told that after this incident happened that the F.A.A. suspended Aeroflots rights to fly into SEA and was told they were not allowed to fly russian manufactored jets into SEA anymore. (This lasted about a month, their plane was sitting next to the DL hangar and never moved during that time.) The only way Aeroflot could fly into SEA again was to operate Boeing or Airbus. Again, Im not sure what to believe....does the F.A.A. have the right to do this or were my co-workers pullin' my leg?? Kinda hard to believe all these stories Ive heard.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 9313 times:

Airframe...

Actually, yes...there was an Aeroflot flight that nearly mistook 1st Ave. South in Burien for one of the runways at SEA. SEA's runways are north/south (16L,R and 34L,R) and would be parallel to 1st Ave. S. Conversely, SR509 runs along the north end of Sea-Tac, and nearly perpendicular to the runways.
I think your coworkers were close, but missing some key facts.

If memory serves me correctly, Aeroflot started flying a 777 into SEA, but I believe they have discontinued that service now.


User currently offlineAfay1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 1293 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 9213 times:

How does the manufacterer of the aircraft affect the pilot's ability to land or not land on a highway?

User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 19, posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 9172 times:

I thought it was one of those TU-177 I think, not sure what type I could be wrong, (It was a 4 engine aft-mounted aircraft similar to a M80) planes that the F.A.A. detained for a month. So I guess SOME of these rumors was in fact true. But I was told that WA 509 was the place where Aeroflot wanted to land. Actually, Aeroflot started flying 767s into SEA for some short time right after the incident then switched to the 777 and I think they operate one daily flight to/from Moscow.

I drove on WA509 on a daily basis to work at AS from my West Seattle home so I knew it was parellel to Sea-Tac's runways, just sayin' that, ya know...not important.

[Edited 2004-02-09 08:22:08]


A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineMD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8508 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 9166 times:

I don't think Aeroflot has ever flown any of their non-FAA certified aircraft to the US, ever. I'm thinking that if any did the Il-62 would've been it. However, JAL did operate the Tu-114 into the US, but it was as a JAL flight. This was before the Cold War began in earnest, of course.

I don't believe the 1 in 5 urban legend, personally. The concrete is nowhere near thick enough to support the weight. The landing gear bogies would punch right through it. Not to mention you've got powerlines to deal with.



But...

Strangely enough, I have seen in several places a sign painted on Mississippi highways that looks very much like an airplane. It clearly has a horizontal wing, a fuselage tapering from the front to the back, and a small horizontal stabilizer. AND, I am quite certain, the symbols only appear when the road is in fact straight with minimal grade for a good distance. But there are lots of powerlines, so no landing would ever be attempted unless it was a Cessna with engine failure or something. But I am serious about the aircraft symbols being painted on straight stretches of highway in Mississippi, such as US 45 in between Starkville and Tupelo. But no one I know has ever contacted MDOT to find out why.


User currently offlineAmwest25 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 9115 times:

"Normal Interstates are 2 or 3 lanes with 1 lane breakdown lane"

You have some small interstates then, geez some in So. Cal are as much as 6 lanes wide on each side. I dont know of any major interstate in So. Cal in major citys that are less then 4 on each side. They do get smaller out in nowhere land but not in the city.


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 22, posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 9110 times:

Aeroflot has, in fact, flown one type of their russian made aircraft into SEA. Ive seen it a very few times between 1996-1999 but I dont know what type it was. (Refer to post of mine above.) This was BEFORE they started to convert to the 767 service which then the 777 took over the route later......


A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineSFO2SVO From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 403 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 9015 times:

Aeroflot was flying to SEA (continuing to SFO) first with IL-62, then IL-96, then switched to 777. Now, since 777s are leaving the fleet, they will be using 767 to SEA and service to SFO will be discontinued.
They stopped using Il-62s because of the noise problem and IL-96s were replaced with 777 due to frequent problems witn PS-90 engines and lack of service facility in SFO. (this was never officially confirmed but sounds realistic)



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User currently offlineKatekebo From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 706 posts, RR: 6
Reply 24, posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 8988 times:

Maybe not in the US (or other Western countries), but in my home country - Poland - they indeed built a few roads that could be used as back-up runways for fighters and other military planes during the Cold War. Actually, the Polish Air Force used to practice once or twice per year using these roads for their Mig-21s in the 70's. Most, if not all, are probably gone now - I have been living out of Poland since 1979, so I don't have any fresh information on the subject.



25 USAFHummer : I recall seeing a picture of a JAS 39 Gripen landing on a residential road somewheres in Sweden I think...pretty amazing... Greg
26 Thaigold : In Denmark where I'm from they have build some of the freeways so the airforce can land fighters on them. They even have secret fueldepots along some
27 Post contains links Dufo : link to previous discussions
28 Post contains links Rob2507 : While this site doesn't explicitly say why the road is so wide, I would imagine it was built that way so that in the future it would be easier to add
29 BMAbound : Yup, there are quite a few of those looong roads in Sweden and as a matter of fact fuel depots are located on many different spots, thing is, no one k
30 Cloudboy : Back to the original question- I am assuming that you are talking about that stretch in Sterling right above Sterling Airport where there are these wa
31 Post contains links Ssides : More info on the "landing strip" subject: http://www.snopes.com/autos/law/airstrip.asp
32 LTBEWR : There have been a number of cases over the years of G/A's landing on major and Interstate highways due to mechanical problems. in the early 90's, a Ce
33 Prebennorholm : Back in March 1993 I was driving on a single lane dirt road in the deep forests of Estonia. Estonia was considered part of the Soviet Union until just
34 Post contains images BostonBeau : I had heard that I-190 was built that way for a couple of reasons. First of all, when Fort Devens was active, the road would have served as the primar
35 Post contains images Solnabo : WAAAOOOWWW......... whatta great strip of film!! Loved it "only in america" Michael//SE www.moveon.org
36 Post contains images Birdwatching : This answers the question... my own question... "Alongside the Wachusett Reservoir (drinking water for Boston), Interstate 190 features wide paved sho
37 Post contains images AApilot2b : All said, I think the short movie posted by Maiznblu 757 is one of the greatest short films out there. I loved it! I had seen "405" before and when I
38 ChrisNH : I know exactly where the poster is describing: I have driven from my home in Brookline, NH to Worcester along that stretch of Route 190 many times. Th
39 Flyinround731 : I may be able to shed some light on why your breakdown lane is so large. You say it's about 4 highway lanes wide. Well, the breakdown lane may one day
40 Elwood64151 : I don't see why it wouldnt be able to hold a 737. Sometimes you have traffic jams with a bunch of tractor trailers. Granted its not as much as a 737 b
41 MD-90 : Now, landing on the autobahn would be another thing. There are stretches of it with extremely thick concrete. But in the US I believe interstates are
42 Cloudboy : What section of 190 are you talking about? There are two possible I can think of - the one that is in Holden/West Boylston just after the big curve at
43 BoingGoingGone : Two Words: Urban Legend More words: The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.
44 N685FE : MD-90 "I have seen in several places a sign painted on Mississippi highways that looks very much like an airplane." Those marks are there so your grou
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