Down in Southern California, a Southwest B737 has skidded off of the runway in Burbank. The incident occurred at around 9 am on the 6th of December. Flight 278 from Oakland had 5 crew and 112 passengers onboard. While nobody was thankfully hurt in the incident, it has proved that safety measured implemented since a similar accident in 2000 are effective. The incident saw Burbank airport closed for around 3 hours while emergency services responded to the incident. The aircraft was halted in its tracks by a system at the end of the runway called EMAS, a material which is designed to stop aircraft overshooting a runway.
According to multiple reports, the weather in the vicinity was particularly bad at the time of the incident. The aircraft landed with a 13-16 knots tailwind. Additionally, there were reports of heavy rain. Due to the geography of the area, the airport typically only uses a couple of its four runways, hence the tailwind. As a result, the aircraft exited the end of the runway.
A similar incident occurred in 2000 when another Southwest B737 came off of the end of the runway. The aircraft then came to rest in a petrol station nearby which has since been removed. Since the last accident, an Engineered Material Arresting System has been installed at the end of the runway. The material consists of lightweight concrete blocks which crush under the weight of an aircraft. As such, the aircraft is stopped in its tracks. Without the system, the aircraft could’ve continued on a path of destruction.
No Injuries Reported
Southwest Airlines released a statement following the incident stating that no passengers were hurt. “We have resumed operations to/from Burbank this afternoon. We remain focused on our Customers and Crew who were aboard Flight 278 from Oakland; we are thankful that there are no reported injuries among the 112 Customers and five Crewmembers. We are working with the Customers directly and will refund their roundtrip airfare and also provide an additional gesture of goodwill. Customers who are scheduled to travel to/from Burbank can check their flight status at Southwest.com.”
Southwest Airlines is currently in the process of assessing the damage caused by the incident and retrieving the aircraft from the EMAS area.
Were you affected by the Southwest Incident? Let us know in the comments down below!