Southwest Flight Rejects Takeoff at Orlando Due Runway Incursion

A Southwest Airlines 737 on apprach to land.
Tomás Del Coro, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A Southwest Airlines flight operating from Orlando, FL to Dallas Love, TX was forced to reject takeoff due to a runway incursion on 26 April 2024.

Southwest Airlines flight WN5777, a Boeing 737-8 MAX, had been cleared for takeoff from RWY 18L Orlando International Airport (MCO).

Southwest WN5777 Orlando-Dallas

Flight track of Southwest Airlines flight WN5777 from Orlando to Dallas.

During the aircraft’s takeoff roll, a united airlines Boeing 737-9 MAX entered the active runway. United Airlines flight UA1929 had landed on the parallel runway RWY 18R just prior to the departure of the Southwest Airlines flight.

Air-traffic control had instructed the United airlines aircraft to hold short of RWY 18L whilst the Southwest flight conducted its takeoff.

Having vacated RWY 18R via taxiway E (Echo), the United Airlines aircraft crossed the holding line resulting in a runway incursion.

As a result of the runway breach, Southwest Airlines flight crew initiated a rejected takeoff at high speed (in excess of 110 kt).

Runway Incursion & Rejected Takeoff

The aircraft came to a stop short of United airlines flight UA1929, which then proceeded to cross RWY 18L.

It was reported that the United Airlines flight crew had misunderstood the instruction from the tower.

Flight crew read back the taxi direction as exiting via taxiway E and crossing RWY 18L. This incorrect read back was not challenged or corrected by the tower.

Southwest flight WN5777 subsequently made a departure without further incident after taxiing back to the holding point for RWY 18L.

Aircraft Involved

The aircraft conducting flight WN5777 was a Boeing 737-8 MAX registered N8875B. This is a one year old narrowbody aircraft belonging to the carrier Southwest Airlines. It has been in service with the airline since its initial delivery in June 2023.

The aircraft conducting flight UA1929was a Boeing 737-9 MAX registered N37540. This is a 1.6-year old narrowbody aircraft belonging to the carrier United Airlines. It has been in service with the airline since its initial delivery in October 2022.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
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