Southwest flight has close call as it lands at wrong airport with short runway

January 13, 2014

Technology, Tourism

Passengers on a Southwest Airlines jet escaped a near disaster Sunday night when their plane landed at the wrong Missouri airport that had only half as much runway.

southwest14n-3-webhe Boeing 737-700 was scheduled to land at Branson Airport — just north of the Arkansas border — but touched down at Taney County Airport about seven miles away, CNN reported.

The county airport is designed for smaller aircraft and features a 3,738-foot runway — more than 3,000 feet shorter than the city’s airport.

The pilots managed to stop the plane — which was carrying 124 passengers from Chicago — just a couple hundred feet away from the end of the tarmac, where a steep embankment leads to an interstate highway.

“Really happy (the) pilot applied brakes the way he did,” one passenger, Scott Schieffer told CNN. “Who knows what would have happened?”

Schieffer said he and the other passengers aboard Flight 4013 weren’t aware of the mixup until the pilot told them over the intercom.

The airline is discontinuing service to Branson, Jackson, Ms,, and Key West, Fla. The Jackson service is to end in early June.




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