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Boeing 737 inexplicably flies 500 feet over neighborhood: ‘Thought it was gonna hit my house’

Simon Calder’s Travel

A Southwest Airlines passenger jet flew worrying close to an Oklahoma City suburb early Wednesday morning, triggering an altitude alert.

According to data from Flightradar24, the plane descended to about 525 feet above the ground as it passed over Oklahoma City suburbs on the way to Will Rogers World Airport. The Boeing 737-800, which had taken off from Las Vegas, was flying over Yukon at the time, roughly nine miles away from the airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration said an air traffic controller notified the Southwest pilots of the altitude alert after an automated warning sounded around 12:05 a.m. Wednesday morning.

“Southwest 4069, low altitude alert. You good out there?” the air traffic controller asked just after midnight Wednesday, according to an audio archive of transmissions provided by

“Yeah, we’re going around, 4069,” one of the pilots responded. The air traffic controller then told him to maintain 3000 feet.

An altitude alert is issued when an aircraft is at an altitude which, in the controller’s judgment, places the aircraft in unsafe proximity to terrain, obstructions, or other aircraft.

“It woke me up and I thought it was gonna hit my house,” one person commented.
“It woke me up and I thought it was gonna hit my house,” one person commented. (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

According to reports, the plane had been cleared to land on a visual approach from the northwest but was still nine miles from the airport.

The aircraft quickly regained altitude and circled for a safe landing at another runway just after midnight.

An investigation has now been launched into the incident, which sparked discussion on social media.

“It woke me up and I thought it was gonna hit my house,” one person commented.

On Thursday, Southwest Airlines said it was in contact with the FAA.

“Southwest is following its robust Safety Management System and is in contact with the Federal Aviation Administration to understand and address any irregularities with the aircraft’s approach to the airport. Nothing is more important to Southwest than the safety of our customers and employees,” a Southwest spokesperson said.

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