Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Business
Pursuits

Lost in Branson: A Southwest Flight Causes Big Confusion at the Wrong Airport

A crew inspects Southwest Airlines Flight 4013 at the M. Graham Clark Airport on Jan. 13
A crew inspects Southwest Airlines Flight 4013 at the M. Graham Clark Airport on Jan. 13Photograph by Valerie Mosley/The Springfield News-Leader via AP Photo

A Southwest Airlines crew that landed at the wrong airport in Branson, Mo., contacted a tower across town after the plane landed, curious to know where they were. “I assume I’m not at your airport?” a pilot on Flight 4013 asked a controller in the tower at Branson Airport, which is about seven miles southeast of the M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport, at which the plane found itself on Jan. 12.

“Southwest 4013, um, have you landed?” the tower controller replied, according to a recording the Federal Aviation Administration released today. The controller then called a fellow FAA controller in Springfield—the regional radar approach facility that monitors air traffic in the region above 2,000 feet—to clarify what had happened to the flight cleared to land in Branson. Springfield is about 45 miles north of Branson.