A plane carrying 130 passengers and five crew members made an emergency landing at BWI Marshall Airport on Tuesday night after a problem with the wing flaps.
Southwest Airlines Flight 1805 from Aruba touched down at about 8:50 p.m., flanked by firetrucks, officials and a passenger said. No injuries were reported.
Neysa Condron was returning from a vacation with her two daughters when she and other passengers realized the plane had been flying in a figure-eight-like pattern for about 20 minutes shortly before their scheduled landing time of 8.
“The pilot came on and told us that there was a problem,” Condron said in a telephone interview from baggage claim. “He said, ‘Our wings’ landing flaps are not coming out. We’re in contact with [officials on] the ground — we’re trying to figure out what to do.’ ”
About 40 minutes later, the pilot calmly told passengers that it would be “a fast landing” because the flaps would not be able to slow the plane, Condron said. The pilot also said the planes’ tires might blow from the heat, she said.
Before landing, the plane flew in circles near the airport to burn fuel, which Southwest spokesman Chris Mainz said in an email is “standard procedure.”
Mainz said the captain declared the emergency landing “out of an abundance of caution” because of “an issue with the flaps.”
“The Crew are well-trained for these types of scenarios, and they did a remarkable job safely landing the plane,” Mainz said. BWI spokesman Jonathan Dean said the flight landed “safely without incident.”
Condron said she and her daughters, Hailey, 14, and Emily, 11, were relaxed for much of the experience, but that several passengers ran to the bathroom to throw up.
A video recorded by another passenger and obtained by The Baltimore Sun shows passengers loudly applauding as the plane comes to a halt on the runway after what Condron described as a relatively calm landing.
“I think the pilots did a phenomenal job,” Condron said. “The crew did a wonderful job.”
Mainz said the plane has been removed from service and will be inspected. He said it is too early to know the cause of the problem.