Southwest's Woes At Midway Continue: Second Flight Forced To Abort Takeoff, Another Plane Hit By Ground Equipment

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Jul 10, 2015 3:45PM

This week has not boded well for Southwest travelers at Midway Airport.

Two days after a Southwest flight abruptly aborted its takeoff after an engine caught fire on the runway, a second Southwest flight was also stopped on the runway due to equipment problems. And yet another Southwest flight faced different issues after it landed at Midway Thursday night and was hit by "a piece of ground equipment."

According to reports, the ground equipment struck the aircraft and the jet bridge while customers were waiting to deplane flight 163, which was coming from LaGuardia Airport in New York City. No passenger injuries were reported, according to a Southwest statement, and the aircraft is now out of service for maintenance. One witness told NBC News that the event shook the plane and scared the passengers and crew.

"Everyone was screaming and the pilot told everyone to get down," said Edward Messagle, of Mundelein. "The entire plane starts to violently shake like something ran into the plane.”

Some reports on Twitter say the jetway or the equipment appeared to have caught fire, but Southwest has not confirmed this information to reporters.




Earlier this week a Boston-bound Southwest plane's engine caught fire while it was preparing for takeoff out of Midway. The takeoff was aborted and the passengers were put on another flight.

Southwest faced another yet different engine problem on a flight Friday morning, according to reports, and aborted their second takeoff this week out of Midway airport as a precaution. The plane Friday morning was bound for Philadelphia. It is now under maintenance and passengers were transferred to another flight, authorities said.

"Out of an abundance of caution, the Pilot in command of Flight 4384, Midway International Airport to Philadelphia International Airport, returned to the gate prior to takeoff after the Pilot of another Southwest aircraft reported seeing potential signs of a mechanical issue," representatives of Southwest Airlines said in a statement.