Southwest Airlines flight lands at wrong airport in Missouri

"Really happy (the) pilot applied brakes the way he did," passenger says. "Who knows what would have happened?"
By Evan Bleier  |  Jan. 13, 2014 at 11:01 AM
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A Southwest Airlines flight from Chicago's Midway International Airport to Branson, Miss., landed at M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport in Taney County instead of at Branson Airport.

For the 124 passengers aboard the Boeing 737-700, the unscheduled location of the safe landing was just fine.

"Really happy (the) pilot applied brakes the way he did," said Scott Schieffer. "Who knows what would have happened?"

Southwest Flight 4013 stopped 300 feet from the end of the runway and could have potentially fallen onto U.S. Highway 65.

The reason for the surprise landing is unclear at this time.

After the flight landed, the pilot accidentally said, “Welcome to Branson." He quickly realized his mistake.

"I'm sorry, ladies and gentleman. We have landed at the wrong airport," the pilot said, according to Schieffer.

Southwest offered passengers a $200 travel voucher after they were delayed by two hours so that steps that would allow people to get off the plane could be located.

"I thought it was a military plane because it's so loud," said area resident Kevin Riley. "This airport takes small planes ... nothing to the level or volume of that plane."

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.


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