NTSB Starts Probe On Southwest Flight 345 Hard Landing

Melissa Stusinski - Author

Aug. 23 2017, Updated 4:54 a.m. ET

The National Transportation Safety Board began a formal investigation into the crash landing of Southwest Flight 345 at LaGuardia Airport on Monday.

the jet’s front landing gear collapsed during touch down, sending the jet skidding to a halt on its rear wheels and nose. The NTSB is looking for the reason why the Boeing 737-700’s landing gear couldn’t support the aircraft’s weight.

Investigators also released a photo of the damaged plane on Tuesday, along with a shot of the aircraft’s electronics bay, which was punctured by the landing gear, reports USA Today. The NTSB stated of the incident:

“Southwest 727’s nose gear collapsed up and into the fuselage, damaging the electronics bay that houses avionics.”

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Ten people were injured in the crash landing, which closed New York’s busy LaGuardia Airport for a short time. But it was long enough to force hundreds of flights to cancel. Delays also averaged 90 minutes on Tuesday, though some delays were due to weather.

Unlike the July 6 Asiana Airlines crash, the Southwest airplane’s emergency slides inflated correctly outside the jet. All passengers and crew used the slides to deplane.

Witnesses to the Southwest crash landing sitnessed the plane’s nose gear extended normally. However, the gear collapsed on impact with the runway. The plane slid in a shower of sparks for 2,175 feet along the runway, before coming to a halt on a grassy area near Runway 4, notes WFAA.

The NTSB launched its probe on Monday and retrieved the Southwest plane’s black boxes on Tuesday. The recorders were sent to the board’s lab in Washington, D.C., for analysis. LaGuardia was able to reopen both runways and the damaged aircraft was being moved to a hangar.

One passenger explained on Tuesday that the plane was delayed leaving Nashville because of a possible tire issue. However, it is not known if that will be substantiated by the NTSB’s investigation.

[Image by NTSB via Twitter]


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