But a ‘narrow field’ landing? Who ever heard of that? And in a Boeing 747? There’s something you don’t see every day.
Yet that was the task facing the flight crew of this South African Airways 747-200 when they delivered it to the SAA Museum at Rand Airport in South Africa.
The runway at Rand is only 50 feet wide, and the 747 has an outer-to-outer main gear tire width of 41.33 ft. That gave the pilot just four feet of room on either side! Combine this with a Vref landing speed of 115 knots, a comparatively short runway distance of 4898 feet, and you have the making of an e-ticket ride.
It’s sadly ironic that more than a few single-engine GA pilots would consider this field mildly challenging even in an airplane with a five foot wheel base.