Aviation News

March 5, 2015

Delta MD-88 Goes Off of Runway at LGA

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Written by: Phil Derner Jr.
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Reports indicate that Delta Air Lines flight 1086 has crashed on arrival at La Guardia Airport at 11:05am this morning.

Image courtesy @NYPDSpecialops

Image courtesy @NYPDSpecialops

The aircraft is a McDonnell Douglas MD-88 (N909DL), that slid off of the end of LGA’s runway 13. The aircraft was carrying 127 passengers and 5 crew members on a flight from Delta’s main hub in Atlanta, Georgia (ATL). In a statement, Delta confirmed that the aircraft had slid off the runway, and that all passengers had safely deplaned. They were taken by bus to the terminal.

At the time of the crash, La Guardia was landing aircraft on Runway 13 on the Instrument Landing System (ILS) approach. While that runway is used for arriving aircraft less often than the other runways at the airport, it was the only choice at the time of the incident due to the snowy conditions. Runways 4 and 31 were below landing minimums, while runway 22 had too much of a tailwind component. Runway 13 arrivals had a tailwind of 4 knots, and a crosswind of 11 knots, both legal and capable for the MD-80. Braking action was reported as good by an Airbus A319 (similar size) just prior to the incident.

Photo courtesy NYCAviation Contributing Photographer Sergio Cardona.

Photo courtesy NYCAviation Contributing Photographer Sergio Cardona.

Runway 13 does have an arrestor bed (EMAS – Engineered Materials Arresting System) at the end of it, but it appears Delta 1086 slid wide to the right of it before being stopped by the embankment. The embankment is specifically intended to also assist in preventing aircraft from overrunning into Flushing Bay. The same was the case in March of 1994 when a Continental MD-82 did the same thing in winter conditions.

As a result of this crash, La Guardia is closed to all aircraft until 7pm tonight. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) confirmed in a tweet that they are investigating the incident. A ‘go-team’ should arrive at La Guardia later this afternoon to begin the on scene investigation.

ATC Audio, courtesy LiveATC.net, via The Wandering Aramean.



Update, 3:15pm EST: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has reported that one runway (4/22) has reopened at this hour. However, according to flight tracking site FlightRadar24.com, only 2 flights bound for La Guardia are airborne at this time.

Update, March 6, 2:45pm EST: Late yesterday evening, the NTSB completed the portion of their investigation that required the aircraft to remain in position off the runway. Overnight, the aircraft was lifted by a pair of cranes, and then transported to a secure facility within the airport grounds for further investigation. Repairs to the berm, fence, and surrounding area were completed earlier today and Runway 13/31 reopened earlier this afternoon. Residual delays are expected to continue to affect flights operating into and out of La Guardia for the remainder of the day.

About the Author

Phil Derner Jr.
Phil Derner founded NYCAviation in 2003. A lifetime aviation enthusiast that grew up across the water from La Guardia Airport, Phil has aviation experience as a Loadmaster, Operations Controller and Flight Dispatcher. He owns and operates NYCAviation and performs duties as an aviation expert through writing, consulting, public speaking and media appearances. You can reach him by email or follow him on Twitter.



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