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January 13, 2014

Southwest flight lands at wrong airport in Branson, Mo.

403-RyRRV.St.55A Southwest Airlines pilot mistakenly landed at the wrong airport in Branson, Mo. on Sunday evening.

The Boeing 737 aircraft which was carrying 124 passengers en route from Chicago Midway to Dallas Love Field was supposed to land at Branson Airport. However, the plane landed at Taney County Airport, about 7 miles away, at 6:11 p.m., according to FlightAware.com.

The Associated Press reports that there were no injuries in the incident and that passengers were bussed to the correct airport where another Southwest plane flew them on to their final destination in Dallas.

This is the second time in a few months where pilots have landed at the wrong airport. In November, Atlas Air pilots flying a Boeing 747 that was delivering parts to McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kan. landed 9 miles away at Col. James Jabara Airport.

UPDATE 9:00 a.m.: Southwest issued this statement on Monday morning. "We expect the aircraft that landed at (PLK) Taney County airport in Branson, Missouri, to depart the airport today.  We continue to look into all of the circumstances which led the Captain in command of flight 4013 from Chicago Midway to land at the airport, several miles from the Branson Airport we serve.  We want to thank first responders and Branson airport administrators for joining in the work our ground operations staff immediately began to take care of our Customers and their baggage last night and have since reached to each of them directly to apologize, explain what we know, refund their tickets, and provide future travel credit as a gesture of goodwill for the inconvenience.  We brought in another aircraft last evening to bring continuing Customers on the flight to Dallas Love Field."

UPDATE 3:00 p.m.: The National Transportation Safety Board announced it is investigating the Southwest incident. "The flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder from the airplane have been secured and are being brought back to Washington, DC for readout and analysis. In addition, NTSB investigators will conduct interviews with the Southwest crew this week," the agency said.

UPDATE 3:45 p.m.: Southwest issued a new statement about the incident. "The aircraft that landed at (PLK) Taney County airport in Branson, Missouri, departed at approximately 3:00 PM CST, after a thorough inspection. The aircraft is scheduled to resume regular service later today. We continue to support the NTSB in their investigation to uncover the circumstances which led the Pilot in command of flight 4013 from Chicago Midway to land at PLK, six (6) nautical miles from the Branson Airport we serve. The Captain working the flight is a 14 year Southwest Employee and the First Officer is a 12 year Southwest Employee, having a combined tenure of 26 years with the Company. The pilots are currently on paid leave, pending the conclusion of the investigation. We want to, again, thank responders and Branson Airport Administrators for joining in the work with our ground operations staff to immediately take care of our Customers and their baggage last night. We have since reached out to each Customer directly to apologize, refund their tickets, and provide future travel credit as a gesture of goodwill for the inconvenience."

-Andrea Ahles

 

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RL

Was the airport runway designed to land a 737 on?

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