Last Sunday, Southwest Airlines’ Boeing 737-700 carrying 124 passengers and 5 crew members, was supposed to land at Branson Airport in southwest Missouri, but unfortunately it accidentally landed at the Carl-Taney County Airport, a much smaller airport 7 miles (11 km) away. Two pilots have been suspended consequently.
As now a days, both the planes and airport traffic controller have advanced technologies, so landing at the wrong airport is not supposed to happen, but unfortunately it happened. But last Sunday, Southwest Airlines’ Boeing 737-700 carrying 124 passengers and 5 crew members, landed at the Carl-Taney County Airport instead of landing at the Branson Airport. This is the second plane to land at the wrong airport in the US since November 2013.
However, passengers on board the Boeing 737-700 reported an abrupt landing as the large plane touched down on the 3,738 feet (1,140m) runway. Passenger Scott Schieffer said, “The pilot applied the brakes really strongly. You could hear it and you could certainly feel it.”
As the Boeing 737-700 landed at the wrong airport, the airport authority sent the passengers to the correct airport at their own liability and placed them on the right plane.
Now the question is landing at the wrong airport – whose fault it was? Pilots’s or Air Traffic Controller’s (ATC’s)? Apparently, it’s been said that it was pilots’ fault as it’s been found that when two airports are close to each other, pilots simply rely on what they see outside the cockpit window, rather than instruments and charts. In Southwest Airlines’ Boeing 737-700 case, it’s being said that the pilots made the same mistake.
At present, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is currently investigating Southwest’s landing in Missouri. The two pilots have been removed from flying until further notice.