(Related to this question.)

Runway 23 at Charleston, WV (KCRW) appears to have a (roughly) 500' x 50' white rectangle painted on the touchdown zone (I've added red arrows pointing at each end of the box):


Source: Google Maps

What is it used for?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ In the remarks for runway 23, it identifies it as a "Military Assault Landing Zone" and non-standard markings (RMK-ANG: RWY 23 NONSTANDARD MARKINGS/MILITARY ASSAULT LANDING ZONE). I can't find any information about exactly what they mean though, it is a pretty ambiguous search. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Jun 12, 2017 at 18:21
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    $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer: It appears to be for C-17 to practice short landings (and be certified for), to be ready for really short strips in isolated areas. Same marking and skidmarks (source) $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Jun 12, 2017 at 18:35
  • $\begingroup$ @mins I know the C-17 is capable of short-field landings, but I would be incredibly impressed if it could land in 500', maybe that is just a touchdown zone marking? The "image" you posted doesn't show a whole lot, would be nice to see the video itself... $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Jun 12, 2017 at 18:37
  • $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer: Click on "source" for the video. I believe the pilot ignores the standard ICAO markings and uses the lines to assess the approach angle and land (the video is not very informative). $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Jun 12, 2017 at 18:40
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting tidbit. KCRW is also the call letters for the public radio station out of Santa Monica CA (Los Angeles area). $\endgroup$ Jun 13, 2017 at 9:42

1 Answer 1


Seems to be touchdown zone markings for assault landing practice by C-17's. For assault landings, the standard is to touch down in the first 500' of the Landing Zone (LZ), and to go around if your mains aren't on the ground by the 500' point. On a dirt LZ, there will typically be panels set out to mark the threshold, the 500' point, and the far threshold -- that way the combat control team which is marking the LZ doesn't have to put out lots of panels, but there are enough for the crew to get what they need. The 500' markings on the main runway would give enough information to the crew to simulate landing on an LZ, even though the actual runway is far longer & wider.

This frame below shows examples of C-130's practicing assault landings, and you can see orange panels at the threshold and 500' points in them:

enter image description here
Source: YouTube

Some places, KLRF (Little Rock Air Force Base) for example, had an actual 3500' long paved strip for crews to use for assault landing practice, with permanent markings at the threshold and 500' points (2013 imagery shown below):

Google overhead image of the assault LZ at Little Rock AFB
Source: Google Earth

Most airports don't have the budget to create a separate runway for this specialized requirement, so some sort of markings on the main runway are used instead.

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    $\begingroup$ The amount of rubber on the tarmac in the KLRF landing zone is kind of impressive. $\endgroup$ Jun 13, 2017 at 15:33

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