FAA Investigates Close Call as Southwest Airlines Flight Descends to 500 Feet During Missed Approach in Oklahoma City


FAA Investigates Close Call as Southwest Airlines Flight Descends to 500 Feet During Missed Approach in Oklahoma City

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating a recent incident involving a Southwest Airlines flight that descended to approximately 500 feet above the ground during a missed approach at Oklahoma City's Will Rogers World Airport.

According to data from FlightAware, the Boeing 737-800 was flying low over Yukon, a suburb of Oklahoma City, around midnight on Wednesday. The plane then gained altitude, circled, and successfully landed about 10 minutes later.

An air traffic controller was heard asking the pilot, "Southwest 4069, low altitude alert. You good out there?" as reported by The Oklahoman.

The aircraft’s low altitude caused alarm on social media, with one local resident stating, "It woke me up and I thought it was going to hit my house," the newspaper added.

Officials at the airport informed The Oklahoman that Southwest 4069, which had departed from Las Vegas, missed its approach but there were no issues with the aircraft.

The FAA has since launched an investigation into the incident, according to Reuters.

A Southwest spokesperson told The Oklahoman, "Southwest is following its robust Safety Management System and is in contact with the Federal Aviation Administration to understand and address any irregularities with the aircraft’s approach to the airport. Nothing is more important to Southwest than the safety of our customers and employees."

Both Southwest Airlines and the FAA did not immediately respond to requests for comment from FOX Business early Friday.

This incident follows another involving a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8, which came within 400 feet of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of the Hawaiian island of Kauai in April. This occurred after an aborted landing attempt due to weather conditions that obscured the runway.

A memo from Southwest to its pilots, obtained by Bloomberg, revealed that the captain had placed the "newer" first officer in command of the 100-mile inter-island flight despite the weather. The first officer inadvertently pushed forward on the control column and reduced speed, causing the plane to descend rapidly.

Additionally, the FAA is investigating a separate incident involving a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX plane that experienced a "Dutch roll" motion on a May 25 flight from Phoenix to Oakland, California, which caused "substantial" damage to the aircraft.

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