Aviation News

July 24, 2013

UPDATED: Southwest 737 Nose Gear Collapse at LGA

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Written by: NYCAviation Staff
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@shimmerskies A clearer picture here @NYCAviation @SouthwestAir pic.twitter.com/xzIMS6pjcA

UPDATE: Friday 7-26-13

New video has surfaced on YouTube today from the inside of Southwest 345 as the Boeing 737 landed at LaGuardia. The video clearly shows that the aircraft did not flare at all, and impact with the runway was quite forceful. Shortly after coming to a stop, a passenger is heard saying “there’s smoke here,” while a flight attendant yells out “remain seated…hold on.” The video then cuts to a view of fire engines spraying down the aircraft. A flight attendant is then heard saying “keep the doors closed.”

UPDATE: Thursday 7-25-13 6pm

pic of electronics bay of Southwest 737 at LGA penetrated by landing gear. Only right axle attached.

pic of electronics bay of Southwest 737 at LGA penetrated by landing gear. Only right axle attached. via NTSB

The NTSB tonight released the details of the last few seconds of Southwest flight 345, confirming that the Boeing 737 did indeed land nosegear first. The NTSB has released the following details:

“Flaps on SWA 737-700 were set from 30 to 40 degrees about 56 seconds prior to touchdown at LGA. Altitude was 32 feet, airspeed was 134 knots, and pitch attitude was 2 degrees nose-up 4 seconds prior to touchdown. All approx. At touchdown at LGA, the SWA 737’s airspeed was approximately 133 knots and the aircraft was pitched down approximately 3 degrees. After touchdown at LaGuardia, the Southwest 737-700 came to a stop within approximately 19 seconds.”

At this point, the NTSB has not speculated as to why the aircraft was landed in such a manner. Additionally, the cockpit voice recorder will be transcribed on Friday, which may give additional clues into the cause of the incorrect landing.

UPDATE: Wednesday 7-24-13 1:02pm EST

Sources reliably indicate that the aircraft touched down with its nosegear making contact with the runway before the main landing gear, causing the nosegear to collapse.

The aircraft’s final airborne moments showed that the plane was approaching with its nose down and its left wing dipping slightly. The nosegear immediately collapsed upon contact and the aircraft slid down and off of the runway.

UPDATE: Tuesday 7-23-13 12:40pm

Southwest 345 has been removed from the side of runway 4 at LaGuardia, and is now residing inside the American Airlines hangar for the time being. Overnight, the NTSB removed the 737s flight data and cockpit voice recorders and sent them to Washington D.C. for analysis. It is looking more and more like the the aircraft landed with its nose gear deployed, but it then collapsed some time after touching down.

NTSB engineer Chris Babcock prepares the Southwest 345 cockpit voice recorder in NTSB’s DC lab.

NTSB engineer Chris Babcock prepares the Southwest 345 cockpit voice recorder in NTSB’s DC lab.












 Original Text:

On Monday evening at about 5:45pm, a Southwest Boeing 737 apparently landed without its front landing gear at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. The aircraft, which landed on runway 4, can be seen with its nose gear either collapsed, or not at all lowered. It is still unclear whether the gear collapsed, or never dropped in the first place.

According to FlightAware flight tracking, Southwest 345 from Nashville did not circle before landing. Due to the short length of the runways at LGA, it would be surprising if the crew intentionally landed without nose gear, leading us to believe it collapsed after landing. WABC in New York reports that there were three minor injuried, but that passengers did not evacuate.

Source : Total Traffic Network

Source : Total Traffic Network

Southwest has issued the following statement: “Southwest Airlines flight 345 landed at New York’s LaGuardia at 5:40 PM Eastern Monday evening from Nashville. The aircraft is a Boeing 737-700. Eyewitness reports indicate the aircraft’s nose gear collapsed upon landing. There were 150 people on board including Customers and Crew. All Customers have been deplaned and transferred to the terminal. Initial reports indicate local responders are caring for five Customers and three flight attendants who have reported injuries at this time. Southwest is cooperating with local authorities, and the NTSB has been notified.”

At this time, LGA is closed to all arriving traffic. The FAA says that departures headed to LGA will be held at their departure city until at least 9pm.
LGA has now reopened to air traffic using runway 13, but arrival delays are approaching 4 hours. The NTSB issued a statement via twitter, saying “Investigator are gathering info on this evening’s Southwest flight 345 incident while landing at LaGuardia.”

Southwest 345 Tower Communications, via LiveATC.net

FlightStats.com reporting a total of 121 cancellations at #LGA so far today, with 514 delayed. Departures have now resumed, using runway 13.

NBC New York has obtained security camera footage of Southwest 345 skidding across the runway on its nose. The aircraft appears to still be traveling at a high rate of speed when the nose impacted the runway:

View more videos at: http://nbcnewyork.com.

About the Author

NYCAviation Staff



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  • Do we know yet if the aircraft in this accident is being repaired or written off?

  • nyboilermaker
  • Jeff A. Davis

    Why were they not allowed to evacuate ??

  • Tom Markham

    That’s why we should be allowed to use our electronics when landing. To capture these moments. Bravo to the passenger who got this on video.

    • Scott Hanson

      You CAN use some devices, mainly recording devices like cameras. What you cannot use is anything that transmits/receives a wireless radio or cellular signal. it’s the transmissions that interfere, not the camera recording.