Southwest Plane Bellies to a Stop After Skidding Off Rainy Runway
Dec 09 2018
The flight, traveling from Oakland, California, to Hollywood Burbank Airport, landed at 9:03 a.m. PST in the rain, according to NBC Investigations reporter Andrew Blankstein.
Southwest passenger Moe Storch said on Twitter that the plane hydroplaned on a wet runway after landing and that the pilot regained control, hit brakes and reverse thrust "just in time". The plane came to rest in the Engineered Material Arresting System (EMAS) at the end of the runway, a safety measure created to stop an aircraft from overrunning the runway.
Aerial video from Sky5 showed the plane had left scars in tile at the end of the runway where it came to a stop.
Passengers were seen evacuating from the aircraft via an inflatable slide shortly after.
"We didn't realize what was going on, it was that fast", said a passenger, Gary Scott. "Mud was hitting the windows", passenger Grant Palmer CBS Los Angeles.
A unique safety system that has been installed at several Bay Area airports may have prevented a catastrophic crash of a Burbank-bound flight out of Oakland Thursday morning. The area is experiencing heavy rain - up to a half inch in an hour at one point, and a flood advisory is in effect for Los Angeles County, where the airport is located.