No Injuries Reported When Plane Took A Wrong Turn In The Rain
A Southwest flight with 129 passengers and five crew on board took a detour on departure from Long Island's McArthur Airport on its way to Tampa in the dark and rain early Thursday morning. That detour was off the taxiway and into muddy grass.
In a recording from LiveATC.net acquired by television station WABC in New York, the pilot is heard to say (calmly) "We just taxied right off the taxiway and into the grass here. Right off Sierra and before Alpha. And we are gonna have to deplane the people and get something out here to tow the aircraft back on the pavement.”
The airport's emergency equipment was sent to the plane, which was reportedly listing to the left. Video from the station shows the nose gear buried deep in the mud, nearly to the gear door on the fuselage of the airplane, and the 737s engines nearly touching the ground.
The flight had been scheduled for a 0615 EST departure. The passengers were taken off the stuck-in-the-mud jet and returned to the terminal, where they either booked other flights or waited for Southwest to dispatch new equipment.