Boeing 747 Lands at Tupelo

By Cliff Nash, Executive Director
Tupelo Regional Airport

A Qantas Boeing 747-400 was one of three aircraft landing at Tupelo at the same scheduled time June 6.


On June 6, much like the skies over the English Channel on D-Day 75 years ago, Tupelo Airport saw a barrage of aircraft taking the field.

First to arrive was Elite Airways, picking up the Ole Miss baseball team on its way to Fayetteville, AR, to play in the NCAA Super Regionals.

Shortly after Elite Airways taxied to the apron, a Qantas Boeing 747-400 came in from the Northwest landing runway 18, with Contour Airlines driving in hard from the Northeast. The jumbo made the quicker turn, and Contour was spun for wake turbulence. After the 747 cleared the taxiway and a quick runway inspection was done, Contour landed, and Elite Airways departed immediately thereafter.

The three “same scheduled time” operations proceeded flawlessly and, except for Contour’s Chevy Chase’s European Vacation, “Hey, there’s Big Ben” spoof, ALL went well! Nothing all morning; then, Boom…what’s an airport director to do?  Hey, was that smoke or water vapor on landing?