Southwest flight flew just 525 feet above Oklahoma City, triggering altitude warning

Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images/File

In this 2022 file photo, a Southwest Airlines plane approaches the runway at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia.



CNN

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a Southwest Airlines flight that descended to just 525 feet above the ground as it approached Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, triggering an altitude warning from flight control. air traffic indicating it was getting too low.

Southwest Flight 4069 was about 9 miles from the airport, over Yukon, Oklahoma, when it descended to low altitude just after midnight Wednesday, according to flight tracking information from FlightRadar24 .

“Low altitude alert southwest 4069,” a controller is heard saying in an air traffic control recording made by LiveATC.net. “How are you?”

The pilots’ response is not audible.

After stopping the descent, the Boeing 737-800 climbed briefly and then maneuvered for a successful landing in Oklahoma City, according to tracking data.

The FAA, in a statement to CNN, said it was investigating the incident, adding: “After an automated warning sounded, an air traffic controller alerted the crew of Southwest Airlines Flight 4069 that the plane had descended to low altitude nine miles away. Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City.

The airlines say they were in contact with the FAA after the incident.

“Nothing is more important to Southwest than the safety of our customers and employees,” the airline said in a statement. “Southwest follows its robust safety management system and is in contact with the Federal Aviation Administration to understand and correct any irregularities in the aircraft’s approach to the airport.”

This is the second recent incident involving a Southwest flight narrowly missing the ground. In April, the crew of Southwest Flight 2786 aborted its approach to Lihue Airport on the island of Kauai, but descended to 400 feet above the Pacific Ocean instead of climbing.

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