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Last updated: 26 March 2019
Date:Sunday 5 March 2000
Type:Silhouette image of generic B733 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 737-3T5
Operator:Southwest Airlines
Registration: N668SW
C/n / msn: 23060/1069
First flight: 1984-12-21 (15 years 3 months)
Engines: 2 CFMI CFM56-3B1
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 137
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 142
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Burbank/Glendale/Pasadena Airport, CA (BUR) (   United States of America)
Crash site elevation: 237 m (778 feet) amsl
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Las Vegas-McCarran International Airport, NV (LAS/KLAS), United States of America
Destination airport:Burbank/Glendale/Pasadena Airport, CA (BUR/KBUR), United States of America
Flight 1455 was vectored for a visual approach to runway 08 with a restriction to remain at or above 3,000 feet amsl until passing the Van Nuys VOR beacon, located about 6 miles from the runway. Radar data suggest that the flight began its descent from 3,000 feet about 4 miles from the runway. FDR data suggest that the flight's descent angle from 3,000 feet to touchdown was in excess of 6 degrees. In comparison, the ILS flight path angle for runway 08 is 3 degrees. The crew was cleared to land by Burbank Tower and also advised that the wind was from 210 degrees at six knots. Touchdown speed was 182 knots. The aircraft could not be stopped on the remaining runway length and overran. It crashed through the perimeter fence at a speed of 32 knots and ended up on a highway. During the accident sequence, the forward service door (1R) escape slide inflated inside the airplane; the nose gear collapsed; and the forward dual flight attendant jumpseat, which was occupied by two flight attendants, partially collapsed.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The flight crew's excessive airspeed and flightpath angle during the approach and landing and its failure to abort the approach when stabilized approach criteria were not met. Contributing to the accident was the controller's positioning of the airplane in such a manner as to leave no safe options for the flight crew other than a go-around maneuver."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 4 months
Accident number: NTSB AAB-02-04
Download report: Final report


Runway excursion

» SKYbrary 
» NTSB-AAB-02-05

Follow-up / safety actions
Both pilots were fired by Southwest Airlines, August 3, 2000.

NTSB issued 4 Safety Recommendations

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photo of Boeing 737-3T5 N668SW
photo of Boeing 737-3T5 N668SW
photo of Boeing 737-3T5 N668SW
photo of Boeing 737-3T5 N668SW
photo of Boeing 737-3T5 N668SW
photo of Boeing 737-3T5 N668SW
photo of Boeing 737-3T5 N668SW
photo of Boeing 737-3T5 N668SW
photo of Boeing 737-3T5 N668SW
photo of Boeing 737-3T5 N668SW
photo of Boeing 737-3T5 N668SW
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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Las Vegas-McCarran International Airport, NV to Burbank/Glendale/Pasadena Airport, CA as the crow flies is 356 km (223 miles).
Accident location: Exact; deduced from official accident report.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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