Southwest Airlines flight WN1392 from Dallas Love Field with 53 passengers and 5 crew on board landed in Austin Thursday night at 8:12 p.m. The plane struck and killed a man on runway 17R, despite seeing him there and – according to the airline – maneuvering to avoid him, though air traffic control audio doesn’t seem to support that explanation.
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport statement on tonight's pedestrian fatality. pic.twitter.com/7xjwZq5sCy
— Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (@AUStinAirport) May 8, 2020
The runway was closed. The man was pronounced dead on the scene . The area was cleared at around 1 a.m. According to the airport the person “was not authorized to be on the runway.” There wasn’t any construction occurring on the runway. Yet “no suspicious activity is suspected.”
Tower: “Southwest 1392, that’d be golf, taxi via golf, golf 2 to the ramp.”
SWA1392: “Tower, standby, Southwest 1392”
SWA1392: “Tower, Southwest 1392, we believe there might be a person on the runway.”
Tower: “Southwest 1392, roger.” “Delta 819, go around, fly heading 175, maintain 3000.”
Delta 819: “Heading 175, up to 3000, Delta 819.”
Tower: “Southwest 1392, where exactly do you see them at?”
Southwest 1392: “Well they uhh, they’re behind us now.”
Tower: “Southwest 1392, roger, so you saw them just as you touched down?”
Southwest 1392: “Affirm”
Tower: “Southwest 1392, your discretion, taxi via golf, golf 2 to parking.”
Southwest 1392: “Tower, Southwest 1392, we’re gonna turn onto golf and hold position.”
Tower: “1392, roger.”
It seems the pilots hadn’t even processed what had happened.
.@CBSNews has obtained a photo of @SouthwestAir 1392 that shows damage to one of the engines of the 737 that may be related to the body found on the @AUStinAirport runway tonight. One of the pilots reported seeing a person as they touched down. Person was killed. pic.twitter.com/114hmOI2Pu
— Kris Van Cleave (@krisvancleave) May 8, 2020
The man reportedly wasn’t wearing a uniform and had no airprot ID badge.
Who was he? How did he get there? It seems anyone thinking clearly about their situation would recognize it as extremely dangerous. Did they intend to put themselves in that position?