Photo of WN 3014, evacuated on the airfield at the wrong airport! - Photo: Scott

Photo of WN 3014, evacuated on the airfield at the wrong airport! – Photo: Scott Schieffer

Details are still coming in, but according to @scottDallasTX and other media sources, Southwest Flight 3014, from Chicago (Midway) landed at the wrong Branson, MO airport this evening (cause there are tons of Branson airports).  Again, details are coming, but it appears they landed at the College of the Ozarks airport (PLK), with only a 3700′ runway.  Does anybody know – is that long enough for a 737 t0 take off?

This is strangely reminiscent of the situation last month where a Boeing 747 Dreamlifter, operated by Atlas Air, landed at the wrong airport in Wichita.  When fields are in close proximity, mistakes can happen.

Tweet from a passenger on WN 4013

Tweet from a passenger on WN 3014 – via Twitter

According to Scott, the landing was efficient, but scary.

More to follow!

Update (7:20PM PDT): It looks like the Southwest Boeing 737-700 CAN take off with this limited runway, albeit likely empty.  Expecting a big day tomorrow for internet viewers?  (H/T to Managing Correspondent @BigMalX).

MANAGING EDITOR - DENVER, CO. Due to his family being split on opposite sides of the country, Blaine traveled frequently as a child, falling in love with the flying experience, and has continued to travel ever since. For AirlineReporter, Blaine edits all content before publishing, assists in story and concept development, and takes every chance he gets to produce original content for the site. When Blaine’s not busy planning his next travel adventure, he spends his time working as a college administrator. Email: [email protected].

2014 – YVR’s Year of the Dreamliner
8 Comments

I think the experts at SWA will look very carefully at the performance numbers, but with no load and favorable conditions it should be able to get out. Of course, just like the Dreamlifter before, they won’t attempt it if they aren’t positive it can be done safely. Especially with the cliff at the end of this runway.

Blaine Nickeson

Maybe it will just stay as a museum? 🙂

Empty the airplane should be able to get out without a problem but i’m sure the FAA and Boeing will have to bless the flight. 737s regular fly out of Brazil’s Santos Dumont Airport which has runways of 4100 and 4300 feet.

bigbenaugust

Oh my, he’s on the piano keys.

Joe the Planeiac

A light Ferry flight out of PLK shouldn’t be an issue; as 737s routinely rotate at around 3000>3500 feet when departing RNT and BFI!

No problem taking off empty and with only about 8000lbs of fuel to get it to Branson. I’m sure SWA’s techs are checking tires and brakes.

No Fly Zone

The short-field TO of that B73 won’t be nearly as exciting as the Carpet Dance that the flight crew will be doing when they get back to SWA’s headquarters. Errors like this do suggest a malfunction, but only of the grey matter between the pilot’s ears. There is no legitimate defense for an error of this kind and the training depart does not have a course to overcome inattention and this crew will be extremely lucky if they retain their current employment.

I will agree with the carpet dance theory with one exception. They probably will not get fired if their record is clean. However, this will definitely be a derogatory mark on their record, which will not bode well for them in case of future “lapses in judgment.” And there will definitely be remedial training in Dallas.

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