Southwest Airlines is not just a high-flier in the aviation industry. It has also been a beacon of safety to those planning to embark on a thrilling journey through the skies. However, every soaring success story must confront turbulence along the way.
This brings us to the question, how many crashes has Southwest Airlines had? To have a very minimum number of crashes and a very small number of casualties is no mean feat.
Truly, southwest airlines is the forte for safe travels. Brace up to read details of the crash, and the how and the why of the incidents.
How Many Crashes has Southwest Airlines had?
Southwest Airlines has had approximately 8 crashes since its inception. Below are details of the crashes the airline has been faced with.
The March 5th 2000 Crash
On the 5th of March 2000, Southwest Airlines 737-300, N668SW, (flight 1455) on a flight from Las Vegas to Burbank was faced with an unpleasant experience – a crash.
On landing, the aircraft ran past the end of the runway and rested on a street adjacent to the airport. Five crew members and 137 passengers died while two passengers got seriously injured.
The August 11th, 2000 crash
Southwest Airlines 737; flight 1763; soaring from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City, on the 11th of August 2000, got involved in a crash 20 minutes before landing.
The crash was caused by the chaos created by a violent 19-year-old passenger who attempted to enter the cockpit and tried to attack another passenger while he was escorted back to his seat.
Unfortunately, the boy became unconscious and died hours after the aircraft had landed. Though traces of blood were found in the boy’s system, his cause of death was stated to be suffocation.
Luckily, the impact of the crash didn’t lead to serious injury or death of crew members and passengers.
Airsafe did not classify this incident as a fatal event because the death was due to the deliberate actions of the victim involved.
The December 8th, 2005 Crash
Southwest Airlines 737-700; N471WN; flight 1248 en route to Chicago was involved in a crash The cause of the flight was the inability of the crew to stop the aircraft on the runway.
The plane went off the runway, through the airport’s barrier fence, and into the nearby street. Unfortunately, the plane’s nose wheel collapsed.
The plane collided with two vehicles and a six-year-old boy who was a passenger in one of the vehicles sustained fatal injuries on the other hand, none of the crew members and passengers were seriously injured.
AirSafe.com did not count this incident, which involved the 737-700 a fatal one because it did not cause a passenger fatality.
The July 13th, 2009 Crash
On 13 July 2009, flight 2294, Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-300 aircraft N387SW en route, Baltimore got involved in another crash.
25 minutes after take-off, the aircraft lost cabin pressure due to ruptured fuselage skin near the vertical stabilizer, while passing through 35,000 feet.
An 18-inch flap in the skin was caused by the rupture. Incidentally, the crew diverted the aircraft to Charleston, and luckily, none of the 126 passengers and five crew members sustained serious injuries.
Reports from NTSB have it that the fuselage skin failure happened because of fatigue at a chemically milled step that preexisted.
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The April 19th, 2010 Crash
Southwest Airlines 737-700, N473WN, flight 649 was involved in yet another unpleasant event on 19 April 2010
The airliner which had 119 passengers and a crew of five on board, almost collided with a Cessna 172 that had just taken off to the south from runway 15 at Burbank Airport.
Luckily, no passenger on either of the aircraft was injured, and neither was the aircraft damaged.
The April 1st, 2011 Crash
on 1st April 2011, Southwest aircraft 737-300, N632SW (flight 812) on a flight to Sacramento from Phoenix experienced a mishap.
The airline, which had 118 passengers and a crew, experienced a rapid loss of cabin pressure after a five feet long rupture developed in the upper fuselage about 18 minutes after takeoff, as the aircraft climbed through 34,000 feet.
Luckily, the crew was able to divert to Yuma, without further incident despite the loss of cabin pressure.
None of the 118 passengers and crew members on board sustained a serious injury.
Airsafe. Com declared the event as non-fatal since none of the passengers or crew members died as a result of the incident.
The December 15th, 2015 Crash
Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-300, N649SW (flight 31) Nashville, en route Nashville from Houston, experienced a glitch.
On landing, the plane slid off the taxiway, collapsed its nose landing gear, and rested in a ditch.
None of the five crew members or 133 passengers were killed, though several passengers sustained minor injuries.
The April 17th, 2018 Crash
On 17th of April 2018, Southwest Airlines 737-700, N772SW, (flight 1380) flying to Dallas from New York experienced a crash near Philadelphia.
Just before reaching cruising altitude, the left engine of the plane had a catastrophic failure which had the engine debris striking the side of the aircraft.
As a result, one passenger window was breached by engine debris and the plane had a rapid decompression.
Immediately, the flight crew initiated an emergency descent and diverted to Philadelphia. Unfortunately, one of the 143 passengers died.
Southwest Airlines stands as a shining example of aviation safety, having upheld a remarkable record in minimizing crashes over the years.
With a strong dedication to maintaining high standards and implementing robust safety protocols, the airline has successfully minimized the occurrence of crashes throughout its history.
Southwest’s exemplary safety record stands as a testament to its unwavering commitment to passenger security and remains a cornerstone of its enduring success.