The nose landing gear of Southwest Flight 345, which had a very rough landing at NYC’s LaGuardia Airport Monday afternoon, hit the ground before the plane’s main gear did, the National Transportation Safety Board said today.
That’s the totally wrong way to land a plane, according to officials.
Proper procedure is for the main landing gear (the wheels toward the back of the aircraft) to hit the ground first, with the nose angled up (about 2-5 degrees, according to NYCAviation).
Then the nose should then be brought down gently.
In an update this afternoon, the NTSB said the Boeing 737 was pitched up about 2 degrees just four seconds prior to touchdown — right on target. But in the final seconds, the plane shifted, and hit the ground with its nose angled down about 3 degrees.
Upon impact, the nose landing gear collapsed and was knocked up and into the fuselage. The front of the plane fell to the ground, and the 737 slid more than 2,000 feet before coming to a stop. None of the 150 people on board were seriously injured.
There’s no indication as of yet from investigators as to why the plane suddenly angled the wrong way at the last moment. A team to examine the cockpit voice recorder will convene tomorrow.
We’ll post more updates as we get them.
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