Passengers in Southwest rough landing return home - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Passengers in Southwest rough landing return home


Two men from Nashville, who were on that Southwest Airlines plane, that experienced a rough landing in New York City, after leaving Nashville this week, are happy to be back home on solid ground.

Emmett Sheffer and Kevin Clayton can often be found trudging through an airport, because they both travel for work.

But, on Tuesday, what's considered the "safest form of travel" felt pretty frightening, when Southwest flight 345 hit the runway fast and hard.

"I told Kevin, the guy traveling with me, that this was going to be a hard landing, and he agreed. I felt like we were coming in fast, like we dropped hard, and as soon as we got done saying that, it was 'bam.' Hit really hard and started sliding," Sheffer said.

NTSB investigators said that Southwest plane skidded for a full 19 seconds, after the nose gear collapsed and tilted the plane forward.

"I was praying, 'Stop the plane. Don't let it roll.' That was the only thing going through my head. I thought, 'As long as we don't roll, we'll be OK,'" Sheffer said.

And a lot of passengers were starting to panic.

"Your mind automatically goes to, 'There's a lot of other things that could be going on here.' Yeah, we made it through the initial landing, but we don't know if the plane's on fire. With that amount of friction and sparks, anything could happen," Clayton said.

As the men got back on another plane to come back home Friday, it was hard to block out what had happened just three days prior.

"I will say that I was a little anxious coming in for the first landing, but other than that, as many times as we've flown, this is the only accident we've ever had," Clayton said.

Fortunately, at least one of them is about to get a much needed break.

"I'm going on vacation tomorrow," Sheffer said.

Federal investigators recovered the flight data and cockpit voice recorders, to try and determine what caused the incident to happened.

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