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  • USA TODAY

    Southwest flight drops to about 500 feet over Oklahoma suburb, triggers alert: 'You good?'

    By Natalie Neysa Alund and Dale Denwalt, USA TODAY NETWORK,

    24 days ago

    Federal aviation officials are investigating after a Southwest flight flew so low over Oklahoma early Wednesday it triggered an altitude warning from air traffic control.

    After an automated warning sounded, an air traffic controller alerted the pilots on Flight 4069 the jet had descended to a low altitude nine miles away from Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, The Federal Aviation Administration told USA TODAY.

    The automated system is the Minimum Safe Altitude Warning (MSAW), per the FAA's website, which alerts controllers if an aircraft gets too low.

    "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 LiveATC.net .

    Hawaii FAA investigation: Federal officials are investigating after Southwest plane plunged within 400 feet of ocean

    Flight apparently dropped to about 500 feet over high school

    The flight from Las Vegas, a Boeing 737-800, had been cleared to land on a visual approach from the northwest, The Oklahoman , part of the USA TODAY Network reported.

    Transponder data shows the plane appeared to descend to about 500 feet as it passed over a high school in Yukon, a city in Canadian County about 18 miles northwest of downtown Oklahoma City.

    Second Southwest flight under recent investigation by FAA

    The incident is the second altitude-related incident at Southwest in just over two months being investigated by FAA.

    Southwest Flight 2786 flight plunged to 400 feet above the Pacific Ocean near a Hawaiian island on April 11, the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed Monday.

    The plane briefly dropped at "an abnormally high rate of more than 4,000 feet per minute" before pilots pulled up to avoid crashing into the water, according to a memo Southwest distributed to pilots obtained by Bloomberg, who first reported the news last week.

    The flight crew performed a "roller coaster maneuver" the outlet reported, to avoid slamming into the ocean.

    Natalie Neysa Alund is a senior reporter for USA TODAY. Reach her at nalund@usatoday.com and follow her on X @nataliealund.

    This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Southwest flight drops to about 500 feet over Oklahoma suburb, triggers alert: 'You good?'

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