PULLMAN, Wash. -An electrical short caused a Horizon Airlines plane to miss the runway and land on the taxiway at the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport last month, but an airport representative says an upcoming major renovation will keep this sort of malfunction from happening again.
Airport Manager Tony Bean says it happened on December 29 at 6:30 p.m. Flooding at the airport due to rain and snow shorted out the runway lights, which left only lights on the taxiway illuminated. Bean says the pilot mistook the taxiway lights for the runway and landed safely, just not on the runway. The taxiway is the same length and the runway, but it's 60 feet wide. The runway is 100 feet wide.
Bean says the airport didn't know the lights were out at the time, because they hadn't conducted their nightly check by the time the flight arrived at the airport. The pilot told the airport the lights had shorted out, and they closed the airport for the rest of that evening, but was back open with working lights by the next day at noon.
Bean said the whole thing was called by bad weather and a major renovation of the airport will address the issue. Bean says a new runway will keep the short-circuiting from happening.