Purdue University

Pilots made runway change before jet hit Florida river

Pilots of a chartered jet that ran into a river at a Florida military base made a last-minute change to the runway where they would make a landing, a federal investigator said Sunday.

The pilots on the Miami Air International plane requested the change to air traffic controllers shortly before landing at Naval Air Station Jacksonville Friday night.

The 9,000-foot-long runway where the Boeing 737 landed was essentially limited to 7,800 feet since there was a wire barrier set up to recover Navy aircraft in instances they couldn't land on a carrier during training, said Bruce Landsberg, vice chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board.

"We don't know what...