A Southwest Airlines plane flying out of Chicago with a scheduled to stop at Branson Airport in Missouri landed at the Carl-Taney County Airport instead, eight miles from the intended location. NBC's Kristen Dahlgren reports.
By Jay Blackman, Daniel Arkin and Tracy Connor, NBC News
Southwest Airlines on Monday grounded the two pilots who landed a passenger jet at the wrong Missouri airport — disturbingly close to a dropoff at the end of the runway, according to one passenger.
The pilots have been put on paid leave until a federal investigation into the incident — the second such mixup in two months — is completed.
The Boeing 737-700, carrying 124 passengers and five crew from Midway Airport in Chicago, was scheduled to touch down at Branson Airport on Sunday. Instead, it made a surprise landing at M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport, which is primarily used by corporate, charter and personal aircraft.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Tony Molinaro says the agency is investigating the incident. The National Transportation Safety Board plans to interview both pilots by Tuesday and will analyze the black boxes.
No injuries were reported during the mix-up, but passengers said the landing was jarring.
"He braked very hard," Dallas estate attorney Scott Schieffer told NBC News. "We could smell burnt rubber from inside the cockpit."
"The flight came to a very abrupt end, almost like a crash," Diane Coplan told told NBC affiliate KXAS.