Rain Blamed for Plane Sliding off Runway at Hollywood Burbank Airport

A Southwest Airlines plane slid off of its runway Thursday morning at the Hollywood Burbank Airport because of unusually rainy conditions. The good news is no one was hurt, but it is proof that it’s not just drivers in L.A. who can’t handle rain.

I, of course, kid. This was a very scary incident for the 112 passengers and five flight crew members who were onboard when the plane lost control. Luckily there were no injuries, ABC News reports.

Flight 278 rolled into an area known as the Engineered Material Arresting System, an FAA spokesperson told ABC. The EMAS is designed to capture runaway planes for a soft landing, and it seems the EMAS in Burbank works quite well. Passenger Grant Palmer relayed the scene to ABC:

As we landed you could feel the brakes. I fly out of Burbank a lot so I know that you have to hit the brakes. It’s a short runway. Then mud started hitting the windows, you could see smoke and water and I started noticing the plane going sideways. Then we came to a stop and I noticed we were right up against a retaining wall.


Heavy rains reduced visibility at the airport and caused the plane to lose traction on its tarmac. Only one runway at the airport was closed due to the accident, however several flights were canceled due to an FAA inspection of the runways.

I’m sure the passengers were just fine with that. I imagine nobody who watched this plane lose control is in a rush to get aboard one.

Managing Editor of Jalopnik.

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What a difference that EMAS system makes. Last time this happened @ BUR passengers ended up at a Chevron station and the rest of the country was forced to hear unfunny jokes about airlines and gas prices...