LAS VEGAS – A Southwest Airlines official said Wednesday that the return of St. Louis-bound commercial flight to Las Vegas to check whether the aircraft had tire and tail damage was a precaution.
Airline spokesman Dan Landson said no emergency was declared, and the landing at McCarran International Airport was uneventful.
The Boeing 737 taxied to the terminal, was checked by maintenance workers, and cleared to return to service, he said.
Flight 511 took off about 12:50 p.m. Wednesday, and the pilot reported about 1:45 p.m. that it was returning to Las Vegas, airport spokeswoman Christine Crews said. Flight records show the flight was over northwestern Arizona at the time.
Assistant Clark County Fire Chief Larry Haydu said the pilot reported the aircraft might have blown a tire and may have been struck by something in the tail.
Airport emergency crews and firefighters stood by while the aircraft landed a little after 2:10 p.m.
There were 174 passengers and six crew members aboard, Landson said.
Crews, the airport official said, had reported there were 181 people aboard.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said his agency will investigate.
This story has been corrected to say the plane was over northwestern Arizona when the pilot said he was returning to Las Vegas.