Atlas Air Boeing 747-400 Jumbo Jet seen at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Int’l Airport

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Friday July 31 was supposed to be the day we witness something rarely seen: a “blue” moon. Sadly. heavy cloud cover prevented many of us from seeing the rare event.

However, another rare occurrence took place on Friday July 31 in south Florida. According to a Boeing 747-400 Freighter left Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport at mid-day headed for Miami International. Apparently due to heavy thunderstorms in the Miami area, the Atlas Air jumbo jet was diverted to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International. It landed shortly after 2:30 pm. The freighter emptied its cargo and took off from the airport today Saturday August 1.

I discovered this “unexpected” treat while checking on a flight heading for Caracas Venezuela around 12:30 pm. That flight was delayed and left around 1:10 pm. The Atlas Air Boeing 747 was also delayed and left at 1:34 pm.

Although the redesigned 8000 feet south runway is capable of handling jumbo jets in emergencies, the chance of you seeing an Airbus A380 or Boeing 747-400 using it is very slim. Jumbo jets usually land at MIA where there is a 13,00 feet runway.

I was curious to see how much of the runway would be used for takeoff. Amazingly, the Boeing 747-400 got airborne sooner than the smaller Airbus A320 or Boeing 737. It is safe to assume that the reduced weight after unloading and less fuel than normal, made the short takeoff possible. Less than 15 minutes later the jet landed at Miami International.

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