Southwest 737 Overruns Runway

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Southwest Airlines Flight 278 slid off the end of the runway while landing at California’s Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) at 9:05 am local time on Thursday. According to a statement issued by the FAA, the Boeing 737 came to rest in the Engineered Material Arresting System (EMAS) at the end of Runway 8. No injuries have been reported among the 112 passengers and five crew members onboard.

Although the cause of the overrun has yet to be determined, the airport was reporting inclement weather conditions at the time of the event. METAR reports for BUR from immediately before and after the incident indicate the airport was experiencing heavy rains and mist. Reported visibility was about one mile with a ceiling of 1,300 feet. Winds were from the west (280-290-degrees) at between 13 and 9 mph. The aircraft was landing on Runway 8, suggesting it likely had a nearly direct tailwind.

Flight 278 was inbound from Oakland International Airport (OAK). BUR authorities reported that although the airport remained open, some flights were cancelled or delayed due to the incident.

According to the FAA, EMAS is designed to provide additional safety margins for runways where the standard 1,000-foot overrun safety area is not possible. The system, which the FAA credits with 13 prior saves, is designed to stop aircraft travelling up to 80 miles per hour. BUR’s EMAS was installed in 2002 as a result of an overrun at the airport in 2000. It was widened in 2008 and replaced in its entirety in 2017.