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Southwest flight lands at wrong Missouri airport

Southwest Airlines Plane Lands At Wrong Airport

BRANSON, Mo. (AP) -- Federal officials are investigating why a Southwest Airlines flight that was supposed to land at Branson Airport in southwest Missouri, instead landed at another airport about 7 miles away that only had about half as much runway.

Southwest Airlines Flight 4013, carrying 124 passengers and five crew members, was scheduled to go from Chicago's Midway International Airport to Branson Airport, airline spokesman Brad Hawkins said Sunday in a statement. But the Boeing 737-700 landed at Taney County Airport, which is also known as M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport.

"The landing was uneventful, and all customers and crew are safe," Hawkins said.

Hawkins did not have information on why the plane went to the wrong airport. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Tony Molinaro says the agency is investigating the incident.

It's the second time in less than two months that a large jet has landed at the wrong airport.

In November, a Boeing 747 that was supposed to deliver parts to McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kan., landed 9 miles north at Col. James Jabara Airport. That plane was flown by a two-person crew and had no passengers.

The website for M. Graham Clark Airport says its longest runway is 3,738 feet. Branson Airport's website says its runway is 7,140 feet long.

"The landing was really abrupt and the pilot applied the brakes really strongly," Dallas attorney Scott Schieffer, who was on the flight, told WFAA-TV. "You could hear it and you could certainly feel it."

Flight tracking website Flightaware.com said the Southwest flight landed at 6:11 p.m. Sunday. It was partly cloudy and in the high 50s in Branson at that time.

"Our ground crew from the Branson airport arrived at the airport to take care of our customers and their baggage," Hawkins said.

Flight 4013 had been scheduled to go from Branson to Dallas' Love Field. Hawkins said a plane was flown in specifically to Branson Airport around 10 p.m. to take the passengers and crew to Dallas, which flightaware.com showed landed at 11:42 p.m.

Hawkins told The Associated Press the aircraft at M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport will be able to take off on the smaller runway, and Southwest expects to fly it out "as early as (Monday) morning."

The Taney County Sheriff's Office referred all calls to M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport. Messages left for comment from M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport were not immediately returned.


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pat.webb2 January 13 2014 at 3:38 PM

I am also a SW fan. They are very good, courteous, do not charge for baggage and have never left my baggage out in the rain for 2 hours as happened with another airline in Oregon. Everyone makes a mistake once in a while and landing a plane at a different air strip close by, safely, should not happen, but it does show that the pilot was in good control of that plane as he landed it. I am glad it all turned out OK for passengers as well as crew.

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William January 13 2014 at 10:31 AM

It's funny, there are only 2 airports in Chicago, but with different names. But there are 4 airports in Branson.....all called "Branson airport". I'm thinking the pilot(s) could get a little slack on this.

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1 reply
rita William January 13 2014 at 10:37 AM

Someone should be having some kind of "coordinates" What are the air controllers doing

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rita January 13 2014 at 10:36 AM

What is going on? Why is this happening all of a sudden? There is more to this than meets the eye.

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1 reply
THE GREAT ONE rita January 13 2014 at 10:41 AM

Use your brain it's two times out of a hundred thousand landings and instant worlswide news.
Nothing is going on, itscalled mistakes

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jjr526 January 13 2014 at 3:28 PM

Texting while landing needs to stop.

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1 reply
RottyGals jjr526 January 13 2014 at 3:30 PM


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JIM SCALICI January 13 2014 at 10:42 AM

oo ha ha that it takes a pilot communicating with the tower, you would think someone might notice the plane on the wrong grid. There is A LOT wrong with this! Safety in the skies is kind of on trial here...

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thomgrisso January 13 2014 at 3:23 PM

Hmm This sounds like another "non story" grabbed off the wire for an explosive sensational Huffington headlne ... It sould read "different airport" not "wrong" airport.. Why bother finding out if there is even a story there .......Huffington can always blame AP..... But for now it is Huffy,,, as always .. Defining the term rag newspaper!!

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rosebrien January 13 2014 at 10:50 AM

This is NOT a minor mistake. With GPS, airport diagrams, and air traffic control, there is something seriously wrong when you land at the wrong airport, and everyone is very fortunate, as this could easily result in a major disaster

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hello steve January 13 2014 at 10:52 AM

In Tampa a gigantic military plane destined for MacDill Airforce Base accidently landed on a tiny little strip on nearby Davis Island. That was embarrassing.

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denverspartanlax January 13 2014 at 10:53 AM

How did Branson approach not have them on radar and realize they were not on the proper approach into Branson. The 747 to McConnell AFB is more easy to understand since AFB towers aren't always manned.

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richsglobal January 13 2014 at 10:54 AM

What A Sight It Was Have Been To See This Airliner Land Unannounced At The Little Jump Plane Airport! I Bet When It Leaves There Will Be Only The 2 Pilots And About 3 Gallons Of Fuel To Get Airborne From The Short Runway!

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