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One Killed After Southwest 737 Lands on Person

One Killed After Southwest 737 Lands on Person
Joe Cortez

Police and officials at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) are trying to put together why a pedestrian was on the active runway and was ultimately killed by an inbound Southwest Airlines Boeing 737. CBS Austin reports the individual died when the aircraft stuck them on the runway.

Struck on runway 17R by landing aircraft

The incident happened on Thursday, Mar. 8, 2020 at around 8:20 p.m. Southwest Airlines Flight 1392 arrived at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport as instructed, landing on runway 17R.

A recording of air traffic control radio conversations posted online shows the aircraft had clearance to land. But after getting instructions to taxi to the gate, the pilots reported: “There might be a person on the runway.”

In a statement from Southwest, the airline acknowledged the pilot “maneuvered to avoid an individual who appeared on runway 17R shortly after touchdown.” The crew brought the airplane to a stop and immediately reported the incident to air traffic controllers. The individual was ultimately struck by the aircraft, and Austin-Travis County EMS pronounced the person dead at the scene.

Very little is known about the person, other than they were an “adult patient.” Austin Police confirmed the person was not wearing safety gear and did not have an airport ID. The runway was closed for a short time as authorities secured the scene.

Both Austin Police and the Federal Aviation Administration are still investigating the situation. The aircraft was ultimately allowed to taxi to the gate without further incident, and no passengers were hurt.

“Our Southwest Hearts extend to the individual involved.”

In their statement, Southwest expressed condolences over the incident, while heralding the professionalism of their crew for their management.

“Our Southwest Hearts extend to the individual involved,” the statement reads. “And we sincerely thank our Crew for their professionalism and swift response.”

This is only the third fatal incident involving a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 in the carrier’s history, and second involving someone on the ground. In 2005, Southwest Airlines Flight 1248 skidded off the runway while attempting to land at Chicago Midway Airport (MDW), ultimately colliding with automobile traffic and killing a six-year-old boy.

View Comments (3)


  1. Dublin_rfk

    May 10, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    Speed bump put there by the mayor and city council when they put a homeless encampment next to the airport.

  2. dvs7310

    May 12, 2020 at 9:34 am

    Your title is bullshit. The plane didn’t land on a person. The person ran onto an active runway, for whatever reason they had justified in their mind. One less retard in the world to deal with.

  3. sddjd


    May 14, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    dvs- you hit it on the head. These headlines have long since ceased to accurately portray the usually diluted content of the “article”.

    Imagine when a passenger punches an airplane window- “Southwest aircraft impacts man’s fist”……

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