Southwest Plane Lands at Wrong Airport Near Branson, MO

January 12, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

A Southwest Airlines plane landed at the wrong airport, around nine miles from Branson, Missouri on Sunday.

The plane was bound for Branson Airport but landed at M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport, also known as Taney County Airport, which is at the College of the Ozarks.

The plane came to a stop about 40 feet from the edge of a cliff, Scott Schieffer, one of the passengers, said via Twitter. “The mood is somber now,” he said.

“You should have felt the braking when we landed,” he said. “The pilot braked hard; I wonder when he realized he picked wrong airport?”

Southwest spokesman Brad Hawkins told AP that there were 124 passengers and five crew members on the flight. He also said the landing was “uneventful.”

However, Schieffer said that “the landing was absolutely not uneventful. The Southwest statement saying so is incorrect; we braked very, very hard.”

The plane, Flight 4103, departed from Chicago. An investigation is underway into how the wrong landing of the Boeing 737-700 happened.

The plane is now stranded at the small airport, which has a short, 3,700 foot runway. Sources told Ray Villeda of NBC that the plane isn’t leaving tonight and that it “will be tough” to get the plane out of the airport.

Passengers were picked up by another plane after being shuttled to Branson Airport.

Jeff Engel, a Branson teacher who lives less than a mile from the College of the Ozarks airport at Point Lookout, told the News-Leader that he was grading papers when he heard the plane arrive. It was much louder than planes that usually land there. 

“I wasn’t concerned about any danger. My dog perked up and I thought it was unusual,” he said. “Now it’s kind of scary. You don’t know what’s going on.”

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