Southwest Flight Lands At GA Airport
A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 with 129 people aboard landed at the wrong airport in Branson, Mo., early Sunday evening but the airline is calling the unexpected arrival "uneventful." Flight 4013 from Chicago Midway put down on Runway 12/30 (3738X100) at M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport a little after 6 p.m. local time instead of hitting Runway 14/32 (7140X100)at Branson Airport about nine miles south. "Our ground crew from the Branson airport has arrived at the airport to take care of our customers and their baggage,'' Southwest spokesman Brad Hawkins said. "The landing was uneventful, and all customers and crew are safe.''
Weather was good at the time and while the minimum landing distance for the aircraft is clearly something less than the 3,738 feet available at the downtown field, the airplane specs call for more than 5,000 for a takeoff. There were unconfirmed reports quoting a passenger as saying the aircraft stopped close to the edge of a cliff. An image taken at the scene shows the airplane parked on the threshold marks. There appear to be dropoffs at each end of the runway. The passengers were apparently being accommodated by the airline but it's not clear whether the aircraft has left the field. Branson was an intermediate stop on the flight, which was to terminate in Dallas. The airline is expected to elaborate on the incident Monday.