AIRPORT MASH-UP: Loose Sailboat Paralyzes Logan Runway

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Logan Airport

SCORE ONE FOR THE SAILBOATS! This happened Monday morning, when a 37-foot boat busted loose from its mooring in Winthrop and blew down on Logan airport in East Boston. It landed on the rocks at the end of an active runway and mashed up Logan arrivals for half the day.

I’m wondering a) why it took so long to get a line on the boat to drag it off; and b) why they couldn’t just go ahead and keep using the runway anyway. I once spent a week anchored off the end of the airport runway in Gibraltar and had no problems whatsoever. It was a bit noisy, but I was never seriously worried about catching planes in my rig.

Gibraltar airfield

Gibraltar airfield

Gibraltar airfield

Planes landing at Gib have to mix it up with other vehicles all the time. The runway is surrounded by marinas and anchorages, and the only road into town runs right across it. The boats, cars, and planes have no trouble getting along with each other.

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2 Responses
  1. Charles McLeod

    A very interesting story. I can remember years ago departing this same Rwy 9 on an L1011 and our jet blast blew a sloop completely flat to the water surface. The reason the boat closed the runway is single engine performance requirements (at least that’s my guess). With the loss of an engine at V1 (go no go decision speed) the performance engineers have determined that the aircraft will clear all obstacles at the end of the runway by 35 ft. You can imagine what the mast of a sailboat could do to those calculations. Another unique feature to BOS is higher landing minimums with ships in the channel on approaches to Rwy 4R

  2. I had never thought of anything like this. Interesting take by Charles. My thought was the same in that how did no one see this boat drifting off. I guess it’s not as obvious as it may have seemed. Then again maybe it was.

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