(The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by the National Transportation Safety Board and received
via e-mail. The release was confirmed by the sender.)
NTSB ISSUES SECOND INVESTIGATIVE UPDATE ON SOUTHWEST AIRLINES
ACCIDENT IN NEW YORK
August 6, 2013
WASHINGTON - In its continuing investigation of the July 22
accident in which Southwest Airlines flight 345, a B-737-700,
landed hard at New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA), the National
Transportation Safety Board has developed the following factual
• The captain has been with Southwest for almost 13 years
and has been a captain for six of those years. The captain has
over 12,000 total flight hours, over 7,000 of which are as
pilot-in-command. In 737s, the captain has over 7,900 hours,
with more than 2,600 as the pilot-in-command.
• The first officer has been with Southwest for about 18
months. The pilot has about 5,200 total flight hours, with 4,000
of those as pilot-in-command. In 737s, the first officer has
about 1,100 hours, none of which are as the pilot-in-command.
• This was the first trip the flight crew had flown
together and it was the second leg of the trip. The first
officer had previous operational experience at LGA, including
six flights in 2013. The captain reported having flown into LGA
twice, including the accident flight, serving as the pilot
monitoring for both flights.
• The en route phase of the flight, which originated in
Nashville, was characterized by the flight crew as routine. On
approach into LGA, the first officer was the pilot flying and
the captain was the pilot monitoring. SWA 345 was cleared for
the ILS Runway 04 approach.
• The weather in the New York area caused the accident
flight to enter a holding pattern for about 15 minutes. The crew
reported that they saw the airport from about 5-10 miles out and
that the airplane was on speed, course and glideslope down to
about 200-400 feet.
• The crew reported that below 1,000 feet, the tailwind was
about 11 knots. They also reported that the wind on the runway
was a headwind of about 11 knots.
• SWA 345 proceeded on the approach when at a point below
400 feet, there was an exchange of control of the airplane and
the captain became the flying pilot and made the landing.
• The jetliner touched down on the runway nose first
followed by the collapse of the nose gear; the airplane was
At this point in the investigation, no mechanical anomalies or
malfunctions have been found. A preliminary examination of the
nose gear indicated that it failed due to stress overload.
Investigators have collected five videos showing various aspects
of the crash landing. The team will be analyzing these
recordings in the coming months.
Parties to the investigation are the Federal Aviation
Administration, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Southwest Airlines,
and the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association.
This is a factual update only and no interviews are being
Further investigative updates will be issued as events warrant.
Follow the investigation on Twitter at @NTSB, or on our website
at ntsb.gov. Sign up for news releases at
Office of Public Affairs
490 L’Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20594
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.