Sunday, March 06, 2022

Boeing 737-800, N624XA: Incident occurred March 05, 2022 at Waterloo Regional Airport (KALO), Black Hawk County, Iowa

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Des Moines, Iowa

Aircraft landed long and went off end of runway.

Swift Air LLC

iAero Airways

Date: 05-MAR-22
Time: 20:57:00Z
Regis#: N624XA
Aircraft Make: BOEING
Aircraft Model: 737
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 121
Aircraft Operator: IAERO AIRWAYS
Flight Number: SWQ6851
State: IOWA

WATERLOO, Iowa — A plane slid off the end of a runway Saturday night at the Waterloo Regional Airport, but none of the 88 passengers were injured.

The incident occurred during the scheduled landing of a Boeing 737-800 aircraft at 6:07 p.m., according to information from the online flight tracking and data platform FlightAware. A storm system that included heavy rain was passing through the Cedar Valley at the time, which slowed down efforts to rescue the stranded passengers.

Waterloo Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Ben Petersen said 10 firefighters in four units responded to the incident over three hours.

"It had landed and it continued and slid off of runway 36," he said of the plane. "It was probably 500 to 1,000 feet off the runway, so off the pavement.

"The plane stayed in an upright position and there was no fire," he added, which was the "best outcome" for the situation.

According to the airport's website, 18/36 is its shorter, secondary runway at 6,003 feet long and 150 feet wide.

Regarding the storm, Petersen said, "I'm sure it played a role" in the incident. "I can't say it caused it." However, "weather and the condition of the ground played a factor for us."

He noted that the ground was saturated from torrential rains, which hampered efforts to quickly rescue passengers. Firefighters used airport maintenance roads to reach the airplane. 

"We had to work with airport maintenance to transport a portable stairwell to the crash site," said Petersen. Once people got off the plane, they were loaded onto school buses and driven to the terminal.

"Once they got to the terminal, I'm not sure what accommodations were made," Petersen said.

Waterloo Regional Airport officials didn't immediately respond to requests for comment about the incident.

FlightAware shows that the plane came from Dane County Regional Airport in Madison, Wisconsin, and is operated by iAero Airways, a charter airline. Swift Airways, which is providing charter flights from Waterloo to Laughlin/Bullhead City, Arizona, is owned by iAero. Caesars Entertainment operates two casinos in that area, 90 miles south of Las Vegas.

According to the website for Waterloo's airport, the company had a chartered flight scheduled to depart at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The FlightAware data didn't record that departure, but showed a flight leaving Sunday at 2:55 p.m. for Laughlin/Bullhead City, Arizona.

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