Preliminary Report: Wrong Runway Assigned

 - November 6, 2007, 6:56 AM

Bombardier Learjet 35, Washington, D.C., Sept. 13, 2007–At 3:13 a.m., the sole controller in the Washington Dulles International Airport tower instructed Learjet N66NJ to taxi into position and hold on Runway 19R, which was closed and unlit. The airplane was then cleared to take off on the 11,501-foot runway. The departure controller noticed the radar target and questioned the tower controller about the status of the runway. The tower confirmed that it was closed. The Safety Board’s preliminary report said, “The FAA classified the incident as an operational error.”