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 Music

This week’s top R&B tracks

usher

LISTEN: This week's top R&B tracks, according to the latest Billboard chart.

in Music

This week’s top pop songs

trainor

LISTEN: This week's top pop songs, according to the latest Billboard chart.

in Music

Taylor Swift ‘Shakes Off’ country image

taylorswift

The "Shake It Off" singer fought with her record label to ditch her country girl image and become a pop star.

in Entertainment

TLC cancels ‘Honey Boo Boo’

honeybooboo

The hit reality TV show is off the air after allegations family matriarch Mama June is dating a convicted sex offender.

in Entertainment

Christian Bale to play Steve Jobs in new biopic

bale

The "Dark Knight" star will portray the late Apple Computer co-founder.