NTSB: Southwest jet's nose gear landed first - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

NTSB: Southwest jet's nose gear landed first

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK (AP) -

A Southwest Airlines jet that made a hard landing at LaGuardia Airport touched down on its front nose wheel before the sturdier main landing gear in back touched down, federal investigators said Thursday.

The nose-pointed-down landing described by investigators violated the airline's normal procedures, Southwest said.

Flight 345 from Nashville, Tenn., skidded off the runway Monday and came to rest on its nose after the front landing gear crumpled. About 150 people were aboard the Boeing 737, and 16 passengers suffered minor injuries.

The National Transportation Safety Board released preliminary information about the accident late Thursday. It said the finding was based on video and other evidence.

NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss would not say whether pilot error contributed to the hard landing or if the nose gear should have been able to withstand the impact.

"That's something we're going to look at during the investigation," Weiss said.

Southwest spokeswoman Whitney Eichinger said the "landing scenario that the NTSB described is not in accordance with our operating procedures." She provided no further details.

About 4 seconds before touchdown, the plane's pitch was about 2 degrees nose-up, the NTSB revealed. When the plane touched the runway, it was pitched down about 3 degrees, it said.

Pilots are trained to land on the main landing gear, which are much sturdier than the nose wheel, and then gently ease the nose of the plane down until the nose wheel is on the runway.

Denny Kelly, a retired airline pilot and now a consultant and private accident investigator in Dallas, said that if the Southwest plane was pointing nose-down 3 degrees when it touched the runway, "That's a problem."

"If you are pitched down at all, you will land on the nose wheel. At touchdown, the nose should be pointed up at 3 to 5 degrees," Kelly said.

The NTSB had said Wednesday that the landing gear "collapsed rearward and upward into the fuselage, damaging the electronics bay that houses avionics."

It posted a photo showing the jet's electronics bay penetrated by the landing gear with only the right axle still attached.

Investigators recovered the flight data and cockpit voice recorders on Tuesday. They'll be analyzed by the NTSB.

  • Queens NewsQueens NewsMore>>

  • FAA extends ban on U.S. flights to Tel Aviv

    FAA extends ban on U.S. flights to Tel Aviv

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 4:18 PM EDT2014-07-23 20:18:55 GMT
    The Federal Aviation Administration has extended the ban on U.S. carriers from flying to Tel Aviv for another 24 hours. Word came from the FAA at about 12:40 pm. on Wednesday, 24 hours after it issued its initial ban to Israel and following a rocket launch from Gaza that landed near the Ben Gurion airport.
    The Federal Aviation Administration has extended the ban on U.S. carriers from flying to Tel Aviv for another 24 hours. Word came from the FAA at about 12:40 pm. on Wednesday, 24 hours after it issued its initial ban to Israel and following a rocket launch from Gaza that landed near the Ben Gurion airport.
  • Bloomberg flies to Israel in show of support

    Bloomberg flies to Israel in show of support

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 4:12 PM EDT2014-07-23 20:12:27 GMT
    Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg flew to Israel via a commercial El Al flight despite an FAA ban on U.S.-based airlines flying to Tel Aviv. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Bloomberg on the tarmac outside the El Al jet Wednesday at Ben Gurion International Airport.
    Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg flew to Israel via a commercial El Al flight despite an FAA ban on U.S.-based airlines flying to Tel Aviv. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Bloomberg on the tarmac outside the El Al jet Wednesday at Ben Gurion International Airport.
  • Is NYC the most unhappy city in America?

    Is NYC the most unhappy city in America?

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:29 AM EDT2014-07-23 14:29:16 GMT
    When researchers in Canada and Harvard University examined the results of a survey that asked “In general, how satisfied are you with your life?” they found that New York City is the unhappiest city in the country. The data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Pittsburgh, Louisville, Milwaukee and Detroit round out the list.
    When researchers in Canada and Harvard University examined the results of a survey that asked “In general, how satisfied are you with your life?” they found that New York City is the unhappiest city in the country. The data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Pittsburgh, Louisville, Milwaukee and Detroit round out the list.
Powered by WorldNow

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices