Southwest flight headed for Tampa gets stuck in mud before making it to Long Island runway

Flight arrived six hours later than scheduled

TAMPA - Passengers on board a flight from Long Island, New York to Tampa Thursday morning experienced a traveling moment they'll remember for a while.

While the pilots taxied to the runaway, it appears they miscalculated the turn and ended up the in the muddy grass.

"He said we were clear for takeoff and next thing you know we were hitting the brakes really hard," said Chris Martelo, one of the passengers on board the plane.

The front wheels on Southwest Flight 4695 were stuck in the mud. Passengers immediately knew something was wrong.

"I'm glad I had my seat belt on," said Ann Gramstorff. "It was a very long day."

Mary Sullivan said the entire plane tilted towards the ground when it happened.

"It's kind of what you feel when your car gets a flat tire and then all of a sudden it just stopped," she said.

On the Air Traffic Control recordings, the pilot can be heard explaining the situation.

"We just made your day very exciting, at least ours is going to be," he told air traffic controllers.

"We just taxied off of the taxiway and into the grass here. So, we're going to have to deplane the people and get something in here to tow the aircraft back on the pavement," the pilot said.

The passengers didn't know it at the time, but they would end up spending most of their Thursday at the airport waiting for a new flight to Tampa.

The flight was supposed to get in around 9am. It ended up landing around 3:30pm.

"That was the worst part because we've been up since four this morning, so we're just tired," said Paula Miller, who was on the plane with her two kids.

Southwest gave all the passengers on the plane a free voucher for their troubles.

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