Southwest Airlines Boeing Flight Experiences Terrifying Dutch Roll With 175 Passengers Aboard
Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Image

Southwest Airlines Boeing Flight Experiences Terrifying Dutch Roll With 175 Passengers Aboard

Another day, another plane accident. This probably won't instill any confidence in the airplane industry. A Southwest Airlines Boeing plane recently went into a Dutch roll. While you may see those in smaller planes, it's rare for a large plane to experience a Dutch roll. The incident happened at 32,000 feet. It caused severe damage to the aircraft. Currently, the aircraft is out of service.

Southwest Flight N8825Q, a Boeing 737, was going from Phoenix to Oakland on May 25. It had 175 passengers aboard. Far from a trick used by pilots, the Dutch roll began when the tail began to go left and right. It caused the plane's wings to begin to rock side to side. The Dutch roll rolled throughout the plane and caused severe damage to the flight. However, the pilots managed to get control of the plane. They landed safely in Oakland.

Boeing Faces Criticism

Fortunately, no one was injured in the flight. According to officials, the pilots are trained for a situation like this. Likewise, modern planes are designed to discourage incidents like this.  "The FAA is working closely with the [National Transportation Safety Board] and Boeing to investigate this event," the agency said in a statement. "We will take appropriate action based on the findings."

So what caused the Dutch roll then? Well, according to the FAA, the flight's power control was damaged. The power control unit gives backup power to the rudder. With that out of play, the tail began to shake back and forth on its own. So far, both Boeing and Southwest declined to comment on the incident. However, Southwest said it was cooperating with FAA investigators.

It's the latest aircraft incident in so many weeks. The airline industry continues to face scrutiny over exactly how safe it is to fly. In particular, consumers have zeroed in on manufacturer Boeing. A string of incidents have painted the company in a negative light A House Transportation and Infrastructure report in September 2020 found the "horrific culmination" of "repeated and serious failures" caused two 737 MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019.

Likewise, multiple whistleblowers have stepped forward to criticize the company over its disregard for safety.