Wichita Falls Airport Operations Supervisor Jon Waltjen said that pilot error caused American Eagle flight 2536 not being able to land in the late hours of Easter Sunday. The flight was scheduled to depart from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and land at the Wichita Falls Regional Airport but never did land in Wichita Falls.
American Airlines owns a smaller company called Express Jet to fly in and out of Wichita Falls. Here is what a spokesman for the company had to say.
"The pilot attempted to activate the runway lighting using specified radio frequency. When they were unable to do so the captain coordinated with the company dispatcher and air traffic control attempt to contact airport authorities. The flight circled for thirty minutes before returning to
Dallas/Fort worth. Express jet is reaching out to airport officials to determine why the lights did not activate."
Waltjin said that the control tower at the airport is empty on the weekends, but one of the four runways are lit and remain lit during that time. The other three runways can be controlled to turn on and off through radio frequency. When airport officials checked the operation system Monday they said they found no errors and that the lights that the pilot claimed were off were still turned on.
Waltjin said the city has no plans to change operations and say this is an isolated incident.