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Top 50 interesting facts about Runway

Following is our collection of incredible Runway fact check articles and charts explaining insights about Runway. Sometimes weird, funny, and true Runway facts.

runway facts
What is Runway?
  1. About the Asoh defence, a term for frank acceptance of blame when you are at full fault. It’s named after Kohei Asoh, an airplane pilot who landed his plane in the waters of San Francisco, just shy of the runway. When asked about why he did this, he said: “As you Americans say, I F**cked up.”

  2. When Louis Réard introduced the modern two-piece bikini, no runway model would wear the risqué and revealing design, so he hired a nude dancer from the Casino de Paris to showcase it instead.

  3. When a Pacific tribe watched the US military perform drills to prepare for supply planes, the tribe believed it to be a religious ritual and built their own runways, coconut headphones, wooden radio towers, and marched around like the soldiers, in hopes of having a plane drop supplies off.

  4. In 1976 a Soviet pilot defected to Japan with one of their most advanced jet, a MiG-25P. They returned it after learning all its secrets with a $40k bill asking for the shipping fare and repair for the damage it caused to the runway.

  5. Airport runway numbers actually indicate direction on a compass

  6. In 1986 the United Way released 1.5 million balloons in Cleveland as a publicity stunt. It clogged the land and waterways of NE Ohio, shut down an airport runway, and forced the Coast Guard to suspend a search and rescue of 2 men who ended up drowning.

  7. The first Atomic bomb dropped on Japan was assembled while the aircraft was actually in flight, because bombers kept crashing and burning on the runway. It took them 25 minutes to assemble the weapon while in flight.

  8. Airplane runway numbers have to sometimes be repainted since they are based on Earth's magnetic north, which is constantly shifting.

  9. In the islands of Tanna there is a "cargo cult" that worships the U.S. army and a Jesus-like WWII soldier named John Frum. The natives dress in American military uniforms and build fake airplane runways, believing John will return to bring trucks, Coca-Cola, radios, and other riches.

  10. On the tiny island nation of Tuvalu, everyday for about two hours before sunset hundreds of Tuvaluans, young and old, meet on the international airport runway to just hang out

Data charts about Runway

runway fact data chart about Radar tracks of flights departing DCA airport on Runway 01 N
Radar tracks of flights departing DCA airport on Runway 01 Northbound. Colored by altitude.

What are some fun facts about runway?

A pilot on Southwest flight 1248 quoted the movie "Airplane!" saying, "I picked a bad day to stop sniffin' glue." The plane then overran the runway, into a busy intersection, killing a 6 year old boy on the ground.

Some people live in "residential airparks", neighborhoods surrounded by a runway where garages are replaced by aircraft hangers and people fly from place to place instead of driving.

In 1996 a model airplane fan was flying a plane at a Dublin park when the controller died and the plane flew off on its own. It flew five miles, ran out of fuel, and glided to a landing... on a runway at Dublin Airport

The concorde could burn upto 2 tonnes of fuel just to taxi to the runway, however once at Mach 2 it was the most fuel efficient engine ever built.

Pilots have to wait 6 hours after taking Viagra to fly because it can affect blue/green colour differentiation, interfering with their ability to interpret cockpit instruments and runway lights.

Airline pilots deliberately touch down hard on the runway when it's raining, to minimize aquaplaning.

The EPA used to chase commercial jets down the runway with a heavily modified Plymouth originally meant for NASCAR competition. The car stayed in the jet wash the entire time. At $25,000, they determined this to be the cheapest way of collecting emissions data for airliners

Crows drop rats on airport runways to kill them, since the friction from the landing shreds the rat open for consumption. They also drop nuts on roads for cars to run over so they can be opened/broken to pieces.

Walt Disney World once had an airport with grooves along the runway that played "When You Wish Upon a Star" when a plane landed on it at 45 mph.

John Travolta has Functional Airport With 2 Runways At His House - fact check

In 1996, a man was flying a remote-controlled model plane in Dublin when the receiver died. The plane continued with no guidance for 5 miles, then ran out of fuel and glided to a stop on the runway of Dublin Airport. - fact check

Paro Airport in Bhutan is so dangerous that only eight pilots are qualified enough to land there. (Pilots maneuver between mountains, fly within feet of houses, and land on a narrow, 6,500-foot runway.)

In 1965 a Boeing 707 had an engine blow up during flight and take 25 feet of wing with it. The plane made a safe emergency landing. Boeing then sent a second plane to pick up the stranded passengers and the front landing gear of that plane collapsed on the runway.

In Southwest's 50-year history, the only person ever killed in an aircraft accident was a person riding inside a car when an airplane overran the runway.

There is a runway in Somaliland, a country that is not even recognised internationally, which is so long NASA rented it for 40 million dollars a year just in case the space shuttle could not make it back to America.

About the Tenerife Airport Disaster when, on a day in which there was fog heavy enough to reduce visibility to less than 500 yards, two Boeing 747s had a head-on collision at the runway that resulted in 583 casualties and the deadliest accident in aviation history.

After explosion of faulty engine LOT Polish Airlines pilots fought for control of burning aircraft for 30 minutes. They almost made it back to the airport. About 2 minutes from the runway the aircraft crashed into a forest. Last recorded crew message was "Good night! Goodbye! Bye, we're dying!"

Runways have to be longer at higher altitudes. The worlds longest runway is 18,045 feet long, located at a tiny airport in Tibet.

When Georgia's Savanah airport attempted to expand a runway in the 1980's they were not given permission from a family to relocate two graves that lay on the property. The airport paved over the graves and laid two headstones flat with the runway.

The Concorde used more fuel taxiing to the end of the runway than a Boeing 737 needs to fly all the way from London to Amsterdam

Chicago's Mayor once bulldozed an airport runway in the middle of the night because he felt like it, without notifying the FAA and stranding over a dozen aircraft. - fact check

Before takeoff on Delta Flight 1181, the pilots discussed what they'd say on the cockpit voice recorder if they got in a crash. This distraction caused them to forget to properly set the airplane for takeoff, which crashed just beyond the end of the runway, killing 14.

In 1983, an Israeli F-15 was involved in a mid-air collision shearing off one wing. The pilot engaged the afterburners and recovered control. At those speeds, the plane behaved more like a rocket than an airplane, and the pilot was able to land safely with 20 feet of runway remaining.

The first 3 Space Shuttle landings were on dried lake beds, not concrete runways.

In 2003, Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley grew impatient in the fight to close the Meigs Field airport, so he ordered the runway to be torn up overnight without telling anyone, stranding airplanes and diverting flights.