Federal aviation officials are investigating a harrowing incident involving a Southwest Airlines flight that descended to an alarmingly low altitude over an Oklahoma suburb early Wednesday morning. The event triggered an altitude warning and sparked significant concern among residents and authorities.

Southwest Flight 4069, a Boeing 737-800 en route from Las Vegas to Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, dropped to about 500 feet above the ground as it passed over Yukon, a city in Canadian County, approximately nine miles from its destination. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed the incident, stating that an automated Minimum Safe Altitude Warning (MSAW) alerted air traffic controllers to the aircraft's dangerously low altitude.

"Southwest 4069, low altitude alert. You good out there?" an air traffic controller inquired just after midnight, according to an audio archive of transmissions provided by LiveATC.net. The pilot responded, "Yeah, we're going around, 4069," and the controller then instructed the aircraft to maintain an altitude of 3,000 feet.

The plane had been cleared to land on a visual approach from the northwest but descended to an unsafe proximity over a high school in Yukon. The aircraft quickly regained altitude and circled back for a safe landing on another runway shortly after midnight. No injuries were reported, and the plane landed without further incident.

This event marks the second recent investigation involving a similar situation with a Southwest flight. On April 11, another Southwest flight, Flight 2786, descended to 400 feet above the Pacific Ocean near a Hawaiian island before the pilots pulled up to avoid crashing. The FAA confirmed that the plane briefly dropped at an "abnormally high rate of more than 4,000 feet per minute," requiring the flight crew to perform a "roller coaster maneuver" to avert disaster.

Southwest Airlines responded to the latest incident with a statement emphasizing their commitment to safety. "Southwest is following its robust Safety Management System and is in contact with the Federal Aviation Administration to understand and address any irregularities with the aircraft's approach to the airport. Nothing is more important to Southwest than the safety of our customers and employees," a spokesperson said.

The close call over Yukon has sparked discussions on social media and among aviation experts. One resident commented, "It woke me up and I thought it was gonna hit my house," reflecting the widespread alarm caused by the low-flying jet.

According to data from Flightradar24, the plane descended to approximately 525 feet before regaining altitude. The FAA's investigation will examine why the aircraft descended so low and whether all protocols were followed during the approach.

The recent incidents have drawn attention to the safety practices of Southwest Airlines, a major carrier known for its extensive domestic flight network. The airline has been proactive in addressing these concerns, highlighting their safety management systems and ongoing cooperation with federal authorities.

Aviation experts suggest that multiple factors could contribute to such incidents, including pilot error, mechanical issues, or miscommunication with air traffic control. The FAA's investigation will aim to determine the exact cause and recommend measures to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

The FAA's scrutiny comes at a time when the aviation industry is under increased pressure to ensure passenger safety amid growing concerns over near-miss incidents. Both the FAA and Southwest Airlines are expected to release detailed findings once the investigation is complete.

In the interim, Southwest Airlines continues to operate its flights with assurances of heightened safety measures and closer monitoring of flight operations. The airline's swift response and transparency in addressing the incident have been crucial in maintaining passenger confidence.