News

FAA investigating after Southwest jet lands at wrong airport

FAA investigating after Southwest jet lands at wrong airport

WRONG AIRPORT: Rescue personnel help passengers off a Southwest Airlines flight that was supposed to land at Branson Airport in southwest Missouri but instead landed at a nearby airport that only had about half as much runway. A Southwest spokesman the plane, scheduled to fly from Chicago to Branson, landed at the Taney County Airport and all 124 passengers and five crew members were safe. Photo: Associated Press/Scott Schieffer

By Kevin Murphy

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) – U.S. authorities are investigating why a Southwest Airlines Co jet carrying 124 passengers landed at the wrong airport near Branson, Missouri, late Sunday, a Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman said Monday.

The Boeing 737-700 jet landed at the M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport instead of the longer runway at Branson Airport, the main commercial air strip near Branson, according to Southwest Airlines. The airports are about 7 miles apart.

The FAA is investigating the mistaken landing but had no other comment, said spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory.

The aircraft took off from Chicago Midway Airport on Sunday for Branson, with continuing service to Dallas Love Field, said Southwest spokeswoman Michelle Agnew in a statement Monday.

The plane landed safely, but at the wrong airport, and passengers were taken by ground crews to the correct airport, Agnew said. Another Southwest jet was brought in for the connecting flight to Dallas Love Field later Sunday night, she said.

Southwest is looking into “all the circumstances” which led the captain to land at the wrong airport, Agnew said. Southwest apologized to passengers, is refunding the cost of their tickets and giving travel credits, she said.

Southwest has served Branson, a musical entertainment and tourism mecca in southwest Missouri, since last March but is discontinuing service in June, it has announced.

The Branson landing marked the second time in less than two months that a jetliner landed at the wrong airport in the Midwest.

On Nov. 21, a Boeing 747 cargo plane flown by Atlas Air that was supposed to land at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas, instead landed on the much shorter runway at Colonel James Jabara Airport, a Wichita city airport.

(Reporting by Kevin Murphy; Editing by Scott Malone and Phil Berlowitz)

Recent Headlines

in Sports

This week’s top sports shots

AP491836413688

A look at some of the biggest hits and best scores this week in sports.

in National

Virgin Galactic spaceship crashes during test flight

virgin

A passenger spaceship being developed by Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic has crashed.

in Entertainment

Coming soon: The Mustache Hall of Fame

burtreynolds

There are halls of fame for everything from baseball to rock 'n' roll, so why not those with a hairy upper lip?

in Sports

This weekend’s sports schedule

mississippi

A complete look at this weekend's sports schedule.

in National

Making headlines this week

AP15711298271

A look back on some of the biggest newsmakers this week.