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Alaska Airlines Flight Punctures Wing In Rough Landing

California has been through the ringer this weekend as tropical storm Hilary made landfall in the south of the state, bringing high winds and severe rainfall to some areas. The storm brought down power lines, cut internet services and even left Death Valley (the driest place in North America) flooded. The storm also made flying into and out of California a nightmare.

As the extreme weather hit the state, more than 1,000 flights across California were canceled and others faced some tough conditions at takeoff and landing. One flight that braved the conditions sustained some serious damage when it came into land.

According to NPR, Alaska Airlines flight Flight 1288 was traveling from Seattle to Santa Ana on Sunday. When coming into land and battling the strong winds, the plane came down hard damaging its landing gear and one of its wings. According to NPR:

Flight 1288 was traveling from Seattle to Santa Ana in Orange County, when it appears to have hit the ground, dragging its left wing down the short tarmac, according to a video posted to social media.

Passengers on board can be heard screaming during the minute-long video as the plane makes sharp contact with the ground. Meanwhile, bright white and orange streaks can be seen out of a left-hand passenger window.

Plane crash in SNA airport (john wayne) 8/21/2023

When it landed, the landing gear on one side of the plane appeared to give way and puncture the wing of the aircraft. According to a statement shared with NPR by Alaska Airline, the Boeing 737 “experienced an issue soon after landing” that meant it was “unable to taxi to the gate due to an issue with its landing gear.”

As a result, the plane parked on a taxiway and was unable to taxi to the gate after landing. This meant that the 106 people onboard had to be evacuated away from the airport terminal. NPR reports that nobody was injured during the incident.

The landing could have gone even worse, as the airport in Santa Ana has a much shorter runway than many other commercial sites. As such, pilots need to quickly slam on the anchors to come to a stop on landing, which I imagine is much harder to do when your landing gear rips a hole in the wing.


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