FAA Investigates Southwest Flight Which Departed From Portland Closed Runway

Tomás Del Coro, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will investigate an incident in Portland, Maine which saw a Southwest Airline flight depart from a temporarily closed runway on 25 June 2024.

Southwest Airlines flight WN4805, a Boeing 737-700 was operating from Portland International Jetport (PWM) to Baltimore (BWI).

Southwest WN4805 Portland-Baltimore

Flight track of Southwest Airlines flight WN4805 from Portland to Baltimore.

The flight was making a departure from RWY 29 after the operational hours for both the runway in question and PWN control tower.

The only runway active at the time of the flight’s departure was RWY 18/36.

Flight crew continued with the departure procedure on RWY 29 and carried out the scheduled WN4805 service to Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI).

Flight track of Southwest Airlines flight WN4805 from Portland to Baltimore.

The flight then landed at the destination airport without further incident.

The FAA subsequently reported that an airport service vehicle had exited the deactivated departure runway at PWM just before the Southwest flight took off.

In a statement issued after the departure incident, the FAA said: “Southwest Airlines Flight 4805 departed from a temporarily closed runway at the Portland International Jetport on Tuesday, June 25.”

“An airport vehicle exited the runway before the plane began its takeoff roll. The FAA and NTSB are investigating the event, which occurred around 5:45 a.m. local time.”

Aircraft Details

The aircraft conducting the WN4805 service to Baltimore (BWI) was a Boeing 737-700, registered N7861J.

This is a 19.1 year old narrowbody aircraft belonging to the US carrier Southwest Airlines. It entered active service with the airline in October 2017.

Prior to its service with Southwest, the airframe was operated by China Eastern Airlines from its initial factory delivery in June 2005.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 2 Min Read
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