FAA is investigating a Southwest Airlines flight that came close to the tower at LaGuardia Airport

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal officials are investigating a Southwest Airlines flight that veered off course and flew close to the air traffic control tower at LaGuardia Airport last month.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday that the plane flew off course due to bad weather as it approached for landing at the busy New York City airport.

After circling the airport once, the plane flew as low as 300 feet (90 meters), according to data from An air traffic controller – speaking in an unusually urgent tone – told the pilots to abandon their landing and climb to 2000 feet (600 meters), according to audio captured by

The controller said the plane was not lined up with the runway; it appeared to be east of the intended landing route.

“He was not going to land on the runway,” the controller said.

The March 23 flight was diverted to Baltimore, where the plane landed safely. After a brief stop, the plane flew back to New York, Southwest said.

“The FAA is investigating and will determine if the aircraft flew over the tower at LaGuardia,” an agency spokesperson said. The National Transportation Safety Board said it was also investigating but did not plan to issue any immediate reports.

Dallas-based Southwest said the plane diverted to Baltimore “after encountering turbulence and low visibility at New York LaGuardia Airport.”

“We are reviewing the event as part of our safety systems,” an airline spokesperson said.

The flight started in Nashville, Tennessee, and there were 150 passengers and crew members on board, the airline said.

The incident was reported earlier by CBS News.