updated - October 1, 2020 Thursday EDT
The Southwest Airlines pilots who mistakenly landed at the wrong airport Sunday found out they were in the wrong place when they landed The Houston Chronicle reported Friday.
"During the interviews, the pilots told investigators that the approach had been programmed into their flight management system, but that they first saw the airport beacon and the runway lights of M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport, located in Hollister, Mo., which they mistakenly identified as Branson Airport," The National Transportation Safety Board said in a statement The Chronicle reported.
The 124 passengers on Southwest Airlines flight 4013 had planned to travel from Midway International Airport in Chicago to Hollister, MO, but rather flew into Taney County Airport also known as M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport in Branson, MO The AP reported. The airport's runway measures 3,738 feet according to the airport's website. Branson's airport runway measures 7,140 feet its website reported. There were no injuries The Chronicle reported.
"They cited the bright runway lights at M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport and the fact that the runway was oriented in a similar direction," the board's statement said.. "They also informed investigators that they flew a visual approach into what they believed to be Branson Airport and that they did not realize they were at the wrong airport until they had landed," the board said in the statement.
"They confirmed that they utilized heavy braking to bring the aircraft to a stop and then advised the Branson Airport tower that they had landed at the wrong airport," the board said in the statement.
The flight's captain pilot began with Southwest in 1999, and did not fly into Branson Airport prior to Sunday's incident The Chronicle reported.
The flight's first officer pilot began in 2001, and had only been to Branson once The Chronicle reported.
Southwest flys to 96 places in 41 states according to information on its website.
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