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Alaska Airlines flight makes hard landing during California storms: NPR

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Alaska Airlines Flight 1288 experienced problems with the plane’s landing gear as it walked to its gate at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, Sunday night.

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Alaska Airlines Flight 1288 experienced problems with the plane’s landing gear as it walked to its gate at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, Sunday night.

Orange County Fire Authority

An Alaska Airlines plane made a hard landing in the midst of Tropical Storm Hillary late Sunday, sending sparks flying across the night sky at John Wayne Airport in Southern California.

Flight 1288 was traveling from Seattle to Santa Ana in Orange County, when it appeared to hit the ground, dragging its left wing down the short runway, according to video Posted on social media.

Screams of passengers on board can be heard during a minute-long video as the plane makes a sharp contact with the ground. Meanwhile, bright white and orange stripes can be seen from the left passenger window.

One person can be heard saying, “There are sparks out there! Why are there sparks out there?”

Alaska Airlines officials said the plane “encountered a problem shortly after landing” in the rain at 11:15 p.m. local time.

“The aircraft was unable to reach the gate due to a problem with the landing gear,” officials said in a statement, adding that the Boeing 737 “was parked in a taxi lane, where it remained.”

The plane was carrying 106 passengers and six crew members, who disembarked safely and were transported by bus to the terminal. No one is hurt.

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Winds and gusty winds were reported at the time

At the time of the landing, the weather in the sky was cloudy and rainy, and the entire region was experiencing its first tropical storm in 84 years. According to the National Weather Service, the winds were up to 30 mph.

Photos taken by the Orange County Fire Service, which responded to the emergency, show the aircraft coming off the lap with the left engine leveling on the runway.

additional the pictures Posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, it shows some damage to the left wing.

The Federal Aviation Administration says it is investigating the crash.

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The Federal Aviation Administration says it is investigating the crash.

Orange County Fire Authority

The airport design makes landing intimidating

John Wayne Airport has an unusually short runway, measuring only 5,700 ft. In comparison, the shortest runway at Los Angeles International Airport is just under 9000 ft.

The short distance means that pilots must take off near full power to gain the momentum needed to get off the ground quickly. Likewise, landings are particularly bumpy because pilots have to hit the brakes hard to slow the plane on the short runway.

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