Feds Investigating Why Southwest Jet Landed at Wrong Airport

Pilots on leave after landing seven miles off-course

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A Southwest Airlines jet landed at the wrong airport Sunday evening, and now federal investigators are looking for answers.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are working to find out how the incident occurred, per The New York Times.

The NTSB announced Monday that it has the Boeing 737-700’s flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder and will soon begin analyzing both of them. The agency will also interview the crew.

Southwest flight 4013 was scheduled to fly from Chicago Midway International Airport to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport with a layover in Branson, Mo. Sunday. Instead, the pilots landed at Hollister, Mo.’s M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport, about seven miles north of Branson. No passengers were seriously hurt.

Southwest has put the captain and first officer of flight 4013 on leave pending an investigation.

The runway at M. Graham Clark is roughly half the length of Branson’s. Other pilots arrived Monday and successfully flew the 737 out of M. Graham Clark despite the fact that the airfield’s short runway is not designed to accommodate 737s:


Southwest recently announced it will stop servicing Branson after just 15 months of operating there.

[The New York Times]