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Southwest Airlines suspends pilots who landed Boeing 737 in wrong, small airport

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Update: Southwest Airlines suspended the pilots who managed to land a Boeing 737 at a wrong airport with almost too short of a runway. “Two pilots who landed a passenger jet plane at the wrong airport in Missouri have been suspended while US authorities investigate the mishap,” wrote BBC in an updated report on Jan. 13, 2014.

The Southwest wrong airport landing of a Boeing 737-700 happened on an airport with a much shorter runway and so close to houses that “a few homes near College of the Ozarks in Branson, Mo., were rattled” on Sunday night by the low-flying passenger jet from Southwest Airlines, reported KTTS on Jan. 12, 2014.

As of Monday morning, no one knows why Southwest Airlines Flight 4013 with 124 passengers and five crew members on board landed at the smaller Taney County Airport at College of the Ozarks, also known as M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport.

"The landing was uneventful, and all customers and crew are safe," said airline spokesman Brad Hawkins.

However, according to the above video, the Boeing 737 landing did not only rattle homes but also the nerves of the passengers as the pilot had to apply his brakes abruptly on the much too short runway and came to a stop just shortly before a cliff.

"The pilot applied the brakes really strongly," passenger Scott Schieffer told reporters. "You could hear it and you could certainly feel it."

Southwest Airlines Flight 4013, which came from Chicago's Midway International Airport was supposed to land at Branson Airport but landed at the wrong airport seven miles northeast of its intended destination.

According to the executive director of the Branson Airport, there was no problem at the control tower, the weather was good, and there was no reason why the Boeing landed somewhere else.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA are investigating the Southwest Airlines flight that landed shortly before 6 p.m. on Sunday night at Taney Country Airport instead of Branson Airport.

An explanation into how the Southwest flight landed at the wrong airport is also demanded by Senator Roy Blunt (MO-R), who is Ranking Member of the Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security.

“I’ve landed at this airport and it’s tough to navigate in small planes – let alone in an aircraft this size. People have every right to assume that they will arrive at their correct destination. As a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, I will insist that federal regulators do a thorough investigation to find out exactly what happened in Southwest Missouri.”

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