January 15th, 2014
06:52 AM ET

Third Person in Southwest 737 Cockpit Raises New Questions

A company dispatcher who was seated in the cockpit jump seat as Southwest Airlines Flight 4013 landed at the wrong Missouri airport has been placed on paid leave pending the outcome of the investigation, the company told CNN on Tuesday.

Investigators will want to know whether the dispatcher distracted the pilot as the Boeing 737 and its 124 passengers approached the airport, a source familiar with the investigation told CNN.

The pilots of Sunday's flight, which departed from Chicago's Midway airport, remain on paid leave.

The dispatcher will give investigators another source of information and open up another line of questions surrounding the landing at M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport near the resort community of Branson, Missouri.

An industry official said the Federal Aviation Administration, which is conducting its own investigation, has reviewed the actions of air traffic controllers at Branson Airport and "indicate that there appears to be no controller issue."

The Southwest dispatcher was authorized by the company to fly in the jump seat - which is a fold-down seat in the cockpit.

See more at CNN.comĀ 

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