Southwest Nose Gear Likely Failed from "Stress Overload," NTSB Says | NBC New York

Southwest Nose Gear Likely Failed from "Stress Overload," NTSB Says

The NTSB also said no mechanical problems have been found



    (Published Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013)

    The National Transportation Safety Board says a Southwest Airlines plane's nose gear appears to have failed because of "stress overload" when it collapsed during landing at LaGuardia last month, causing the plane to skid and spark down the runway. 

    The NTSB said in an investigative update statement Tuesday that "no mechanical anomalies or malfunctions have been found."

    The gear appears to have failed because of stress overload, the NTSB said. The agency did not elaborate and said no interviews would be given Tuesday.

    Sixteen people suffered minor injuries during Flight 345's landing, and passengers had to escape on emergency chutes.

    WATCH: Plane Skids to a Scary Halt on Runway

    [NATL-NY] WATCH: Southwest Plane Skids on Collapsed Gear at LGA Runway
    Video obtained by NBC 4 New York shows the Southwest Airlines plane skidding down the runway at LaGuardia Airport Monday after its landing gear collapsed.
    (Published Tuesday, July 23, 2013)

    The NTSB also said Tuesday that the first officer, not the captain, was flying the plane on approach into LaGuardia. At some point below 400 feet, there was a change of control and the captain made the landing. It's not clear why.

    The NTSB had said already that the plane was at an altitude of about 32 feet, with an airspeed of about 134 knots and a pitch attitude of 2 degrees nose-up about four seconds before landing.

    A former senior NTSB investigator told NBC News it's suprising the captain would make such a drastic move unless he had profound safety concerns.

    Passenger Video of Southwest Plane's Rough Landing

    [NY] Passenger Records Southwest Plane's Hard Landing
    A passenger on the Southwest Airlines flight that made a hard landing at LaGuardia recorded the entire incident. He shared the video and recounted the scene with NBC 4 New York. Marc Santia reports.
    (Published Tuesday, July 23, 2013)

    "To try to take command, get established, get the tactile feel for the airplane, and successfully touch the airplane down on the runway is very challenging," said Greg Feith.

    The NTSB said the crew was experienced. The first officer had 5,200 flight hours, 1,100 of those in a 737, although this was his first trip in command.

    The captain had 12,000 hours of flight time, most in the 737, but this was his first flight with the first officer. 

    Southwest Flight Landing Gear Collapses at LaGuardia

    [NY] Southwest Flight Landing Gear Collapses at LaGuardia
    The front landing gear on a Boeing 737 collapsed as the plane touched down at LaGuardia Airport Monday, causing the aircraft to skid and spark along the runway, according to witnesses, injuring as many as 10 people.
    (Published Tuesday, July 23, 2013)

    Investigators are still studying the more than 27 hours of recorded data from the entire flight from Nashville, Tenn. to New York, and on Tuesday the agency said it had obtained five videos showing the crash landing that would be analyzed.

    -- Andrew Siff contributed to this report. 

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