southwest airlines, national transportation safety board, southwest airlines flight attendant fracture
(Photo : Samuel’s Photos on Unsplash)

According to a report released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), a Southwest Airlines flight attendant suffered a fractured T3 vertebra in July as a result of a hard landing.

What Happened During the Incident?

The NTSB report said a flight attendant aboard a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 sustained injuries on July 1 while the plane was approaching John Wayne-Orange County Airport in Santa Ana.

The Dallas Morning News noted that after a hard landing in California, the flight attendant suffered a spine fracture.

“She indicated that the plane hit the ground with such force that she thought the plane had crashed,” the report said.

No other recorded injuries among the 141 passengers and crew occurred, and there was no damage to the aircraft, said the report, according to Business Insider.

Meanwhile, the Dallas Morning News said that the accident’s cause was not determined by the NTSB report.

What Could Be the Cause of the Hard Landing?

The only commercial runway at John Wayne Airport is Runway 20R, which is 5,700 feet long. As noted by the Dallas Morning News, the shortest of the seven commercial runways at DFW International Airport is 9,000 feet long.

Due to the short runway, pilots said that they were attempting to fly the aircraft onto the runway with as little floating as possible while aiming for the runway’s touchdown zone.

However, it should be noted that the flight attendant had her seatbelt fastened in the “brace position” and was occupying one of the jumpseats aboard the aircraft.

The news outlet also mentioned that there are no regulations for aircraft landing, despite John Wayne Airport being known for flying constraints that force commercial aircraft to climb steeply after takeoff to abide by noise restrictions.

Statement of Southwest Airlines About the Incident

“The safety of Southwest’s customer and employees is always our top priority,” Southwest Airlines said in a statement.

Southwest Airlines added that in accordance with regulatory requirements, the airlines informed the NTSB about the incident and investigated it internally.

Injuries Aboard Aircrafts Are Uncommon

According to the NTSB, there were just two major injury complaints in the over 9 million flight hours flown by commercial aircraft in the U.S. in 2020. Most of the accidents involve passengers who are walking inside the aircraft, frequently during unanticipated turbulence.

Aircrafts Are Making Headlines Recently

We reported last week that after a Vueling aircraft VY6227 departed from Sussex airport, it landed at Gatwick once again, two hours after takeoff. The aircraft circled the south coast of England for an hour and 51 minutes.

According to the Flight Emergency Twitter account, the plane had to burn fuel for more than an hour “due to having too much fuel onboard.”

Vueling flight VY6227 has now been burning fuel just off the south coast for over an hour after climbing out of Gatwick and will be returning

— Flight Emergency (@FlightEmergency) July 31, 2022

It was reported that it is unclear what arrangements have been made for passengers to continue their journeys. They do, however, appear to be eligible for a $220 payment per person for the delay.

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