Southwest Flight Lands at Wrong Airport, Nearly Falls Off Cliff

Sunday night, a Southwest Airlines flight from Chicago landed at an airport in southwest Missouri. Only one problem: The pilots accidentally landed at the wrong southwest Missouri airport, which just happened to have a short runway that ended with a cliff.

"Welcome to Branson," the pilot said, according to passengers, before apologizing a few minutes later. "I'm sorry, ladies and gentleman. We have landed at the wrong airport."

The flight was supposed to land at Branson Airport—which features a runway long enough for the Boeing 737— but for reasons that still aren't clear, the plane instead landed at M. Graham Clark Downtown Aiport, which is about 7 miles away from Branson and—with a runway approximately half as long as Branson's—was built for much smaller planes.

"I thought it was a military plane because it's so loud," one witness told CNN. "This airport takes small planes ... nothing to the level or volume of that plane."

According to authorities, the plane stopped just 300 feet before the runway's end. And good thing—the runway ends with a steep drop off that leads to U.S. Highway 65.

Southwest Flight Lands at Wrong Airport, Nearly Falls Off Cliff

"Really happy (the) pilot applied brakes the way he did," said Scott Schieffer, one of 124 passengers aboard Southwest Flight 4013, told CNN. "Who knows what would have happened?"

There were no injuries, and the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board have launched an investigation.

[Top Image via AP, Bottom Image via Google Maps]