July 21, 2024

Plane Comes Dangerously Close to House as it Falls to Just 525 Feet Over 9 Miles From the Runway

Photo: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images) (Getty Images)

A flight operated by Southwest Airlines descended to just 525 feet when it was approximately nine miles away from the intended runway on June 19. The Boeing 737-800 aircraft was close to completing its trip from Las Vegas to Oklahoma City’s Will Rogers World Airport when an automated alert was activated just after midnight as the aircraft flew over OKC’s neighborhoods.

Upon this, air traffic control established communication with the flight crew, as reported by the Oklahoman. The ATC message to Southwest 4069 was, “Southwest 4069, low altitude alert. Are you okay out there?” The warning prompted the aircraft to promptly ascend and execute a safe landing on an alternate runway.

One of the pilots indicated they were initiating a go-around, with the controller instructing them to maintain 3,000 feet, according to the Daily Beast. Officials from the airport’s Air Traffic Control confirmed the alert and missed approach, emphasizing that there were no technical issues with the aircraft.

A statement provided by Southwest Airlines to the Oklahoman addressed the incident from earlier in the week:

“Southwest is following its comprehensive Safety Management System and is collaborating with the Federal Aviation Administration to investigate and rectify any anomalies in the aircraft’s approach to the airport. Safety remains the top priority for Southwest concerning both its passengers and employees.”

A member of the Yukon Happenings Facebook group mentioned being startled by the low-flying plane, expressing, “It woke me up and I thought it was gonna hit my house,” as per the report.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced on June 20 that an investigation was underway to determine the cause of the aircraft’s low altitude in the early hours of Wednesday, as reported by The Daily Beast. Further updates will be shared as more information becomes available.

This incident comes shortly after another Southwest pilot narrowly avoided crashing into the Pacific Ocean. Additionally, it follows closely after a Southwest aircraft narrowly missed colliding with another plane on a runway in Washington, D.C., by less than 400 feet. The series of events involving Southwest-operated Boeing 737s raise concerns about flight safety practices.

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