A string of unusually hot days at Reagan National Airport managed to soften the tarmac enough to immobilize a US Airways plane recently, reports Martin Weil at the Washington Post. An initial first tug failed to move the regional jet out of its rut, so the 35 passengers got off. A second tug then managed to move the airliner to a spot firm enough for it to start its engines. After a 3 hour delay, the passengers were on their way. A jetliner getting stuck on the tarmac was pretty rare, admitted airline spokeswoman Michelle Mohr, but so was the unusual heat that softened the tarmac. As even more extreme heat is predicted under continuing climate change, trapped airliners might become more common, as more airport tarmacs morph into tar traps.
US Airways plane gets stuck in ‘soft spot’ on pavement at Reagan National. Things were proceeding normally Friday evening as a US Airways flight was leaving the gate at Reagan National Airport to begin its flight to Charleston, S.C. But the temperature reached 100 degrees in Washington on Friday and that apparently softened the airport paving enough to immobilize the airplane. Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/plane-gets-stuck-at-reagan-national/2012/07/08/gJQAZgG9UW_story.html