Southwest Flight Slides Off End of Burbank Runway

A Southwest Airlines flight skidded off the runway after it landed and could not stop Thursday morning, December 6, 2018.

The airport is equipped with a system precisely for the purpose of stopping a skidding aircraft called an Engineered Material Arresting System. The system slows the aircraft and hopefully stops it before departing the paved surfaces and/or the airport boundaries.

There were 117 people on board. By all accounts, once the aircraft had come to a stop, the crew maintained a calm order and passengers were seen disembarking the aircraft in an orderly fashion using an emergency slide and/or stairs. There were no reported injuries. “Mud was hitting the windows,” passenger Grant Palmer said. “So that’s when I started thinking, well, we do have a problem here. We must no longer be on the runway.”

Burbank was placed on a groundstop by the FAA for flights departing from airports within about a three-hour flying distance of Burbank. It was lifted just before 11 a.m. Flights from other airlines were continuing to depart from Burbank. Southwest cancelled numerous flights until about 2pm.