Southwest Airlines Fires Pilot In LaGuardia Nose-Dive Landing
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) –– The pilot who took over the helm of a Southwest flight just before it made a hard landing at LaGuardia Airport over the summer has been fired, according to the airline.
Sixteen people were injured on July 22 when the jetliner touched down on the runway, nose first, before its gear collapsed. The Boeing 737, which had come in from Nashville, Tenn., ended up in a grassy area next to the runway where passengers used chutes to escape.
The pilot, who had been with Southwest for 13 years, took control from the first officers just 400 feet from the ground, according to a National Transportation Safety Board report.
The NTSB said the captain who landed the plane had flown into LaGuardia just once before.
“As a matter of policy we have not identified the pilots and we are not discussing the specifics,” Southwest spokesperson Linda Rutherford told Bloomberg. “We are also still in an active investigation with the NTSB.”
No mechanical problems were found, and an examination of the nose gear indicated that it failed due to stress overload.
Southwest said at the time of the accident that the landing described by investigators violated the airline’s normal procedures.
A passenger, Jacqueline Young of Jonesville, S.C., was the first to file suit in connection with the accident, saying she suffered permanent injuries.
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