2015-12-15 Southwest Boeing 737-300 taxied into ditch at Nashville

2015-12-15 Southwest Boeing 737-300 taxied into ditch at Nashville

2015-12-15 Southwest Boeing 737-300 taxied into ditch at Nashville


After a normal landing the 737 ran off the side of the taxiway coming to rest in a ditch where its nosegear collapsed. There were a number of minor injuries.

Southwest Airlines flight 31 from Houston Hobby made a normal landing on runway 20C(enter).

After vacating the runway to the left it follows taxiway „Sierra“ and „Tango 4“ proceeding northbound to the terminal.

The aircraft has just crossed the inactive runway 13/31 and was about to turn right into taxiway „Juliet“ when directional control was apparently lost. (see map)

Boeing 737 ran off to the right side of the taxiway until it rolled over the grass towards downsloping ground. The aircraft ended up in a ditch with its nosegear subsequently collpased.

The crew initiated an emergency evacuation using slides on the right hand side.

Three minor injuries have been reported. The aircraft was substantially damaged.

The accident occured in darkness.

In Jan 2016,  The NTSB has opened an investigation. [LINK]

The aircraft is not expected to get repaired anytime soon and is possibly to be considered a hull loss.

The NTSB published a full accident report in 2016. [LINK to Report]

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

  • the flight crew’s early turn towards the assigned gate because taxiway lighting had been inadvertently turned off by the controller-in-charge which resulted in the airplane leaving the paved surface.

    © NTSB

    Contributing to the accident was the operation of the screen-saver function on the lighting control panel that prevented the tower controllers from having an immediate visual reference to the status of the airfield lighting.

Southwest Airlines media statement: LINK

Date: 2015-12-15 Time: 17:25
Location: KBNA BNA Nashville
Country: USA
Flight phase: TXI – Taxi, Power Back
Damage to a/c: substantial / hull loss

Flight no.: WN 31
From: KHOU/HOU: Hobby To: KBNA/BNA: Nashville
Type: Passenger
Operator: Southwest Airlines

Type: Boeing 737-300
Registration: N649SW
Age a/c: 18,5 years
Constr. No.: 27719

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Aircraft Involved

© HarrisonF | Planespotters.Net


Latest state of the aircraft, poss a write off
© P. Robbins | Flickr

Occupants & Casualties

Crew Pax Other Total
Occupants 5 133 0 138
Fatalities 0 0 0 0
Injuries 0 3 0 3

JACDEC 25-year Statistics :

  • 61th safety occurence for the operator
  • 198th safety occurence of type (B733)
  • 12th safety occurence a Nashville Airport, TN
  • 1st safety occurence for aircraft in question

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