Southwest attendant sustains broken back in hard landing

DALLAS — A Southwest Airlines flight attendant suffered a compression fracture to a vertebra in her upper back during a hard landing in California last month, according to federal security investigators.

The National Transportation Safety Board said the impact of the landing was so hard that the flight attendant thought the plane had crashed. She felt pain in her back and neck and was unable to move, and was taken to a hospital where the fracture was diagnosed.

The Dutch Safety Board concluded the investigation without saying what was the cause of the hard larding.

The NTSB said none of the other 141 people on board the plane were injured in the incident at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, California.

The pilots told the researchers they were aiming for the normal landing zone on the relatively short runway.

“It was a solid landing, though,” the NTSB said in its final report on Friday.

Dallas-based Southwest said in a statement Monday, “We reported the matter to the NTSB in accordance with regulatory requirements and conducted an internal review of the event.”

An airline spokeswoman did not respond to questions about the outcome of the internal investigation and whether the aircraft has been inspected for evidence of damage that could result from a hard landing. According to the tracking services, the plane makes several flights a day.

Shortly after the 18-year-old Boeing 737-700 taxied off the runway, the pilots — a 55-year-old captain and 49-year-old copilot — were told about the flight attendant’s injury, who was in a bouncy seat in the back of the plane.

The NTSB, which did not travel to the scene of the accident, has not made its documents from the investigation public.

READ ALSO -  Former Fed Chairman Bernanke Shares Nobel Prize for Banking Research

The runway the plane landed on is only 5,700 feet long (1,700 meters). In comparison, runways at the nearby Los Angeles International Airport range between 8,900 and nearly 13,000 feet (2,700 to 3,900 meters).

The NTSB investigation was previously reported by The Dallas Morning News.

Copyright 2022 ABC NEWS. All rights reserved.
Follow WT LOCAL on Social Media for the Latest News and Updates.
Share this news on your Facebook,Twitter and Whatsapp.

Newsletter Updates

Enter your email address below to subscribe to our newsletter