A Southwest Airlines (LUV) flight attendant suffered a fracture to her upper spine after flight WN2029 landed in Santa Ana, California. 

The incident occured on a flight from Oakland International Airport (OAK) to Santa Ana’s John Wayne Orange County Airport (SNA) on July 1, 2022.

According to the National Transport Safety Board’s (NTSB) aviation accident final report, flight 2029 was aiming for the touchdown zone, but due to SNA’s short runway, it was trying to, “fly the aircraft onto the runway with minimal floating”.

The touchdown ended up being what the NTSB calls a ‘firm landing’, and the injured flight attendant indicated that the “plane hit the ground with such force that she thought the plane had crashed”.

The flight attendant immediately felt pain in her back and neck, and could not move, the report said. 

The flight attendant was evaluated by paramedics and was transported to a local hospital where she was eventually diagnosed with a compression fracture to her T3 vertebra (upper back).

Although the current condition of the flight attendant is not known, the NTSB classified the injury as ‘serious’.

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