Southwest flight heading for Oklahoma City dives to 500 feet above neighborhood

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating a Southwest Airlines flight that dropped to around 500 feet from the ground earlier this week during a missed approach while landing at Oklahoma City’s Will Rogers World Airport, reports say. 

Data from the flight-tracking website FlightAware shows that the Boeing 737-800 passenger jet was flying low over Yukon – a city on the outskirts of Oklahoma City – around midnight on Wednesday before gaining altitude, circling around and landing about 10 minutes later. 

“Southwest 4069, low altitude alert. You good out there?” an air traffic controller was heard asking the pilot, according to The Oklahoman. 

The aircraft’s low flight path sparked concern on social media, with one local resident writing “it woke me up and I thought it was [going to] hit my house,” the newspaper added. 


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

The FAA has now launched an investigation into the matter, according to Reuters. 

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“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,” a Southwest spokesperson told The Oklahoman. 

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


Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 departs from Los Angeles

The reported incident comes after a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft came within 400 feet of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of the Hawaiian island of Kauai in April after weather conditions forced pilots to swiftly change course. 

According to a memo from Southwest to pilots, which was obtained by Bloomberg, the incident occurred following an aborted landing attempt due to bad weather that blocked pilots from seeing the runway at the specified altitude. 

The memo had noted that the captain opted to put the “newer” first officer in command of the 100-mile inter-island flight, despite the pending weather. 

The less-experienced first officer “inadvertently” pushed forward on the control column, which controls the plane’s pitch and roll, then cut the speed, causing the airplane to rapidly descend. 

The FAA is also investigating a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Max plane that experienced a “Dutch roll” motion on a May 25 flight from Phoenix to Oakland, California, causing “substantial” damage to the aircraft. 

Southwest passengers check in


Documentation on Boeing’s website describes a Dutch roll as when the nose of the plane “may go left to right as the airplane simultaneously banks side to side.” The maneuver is caused by “wind or pilot input.” 

FOX Business’ Sarah Rumpf-Whitten contributed to this report. 


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