Southwest 737 touched runway nose first: NTSB

Washington DC
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The Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 that crashed at New York's LaGuardia Airport on 22 July touched the runway nose first during landing, according to an update released 25 July by the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

"Evidence from video and other sources is consistent with the nose-gear making contact with the runway before the main landing gear," says the NTSB.

The flight data recorder, which measured some 1,000 parameters during the 27 hours before the accident, shows that aircraft was configured with flaps at 30° to 40° about 56s prior to touchdown, says the board.

Four seconds prior to touchdown, the aircraft was travelling 134kt (248km/h) at an altitude of 9.75m (32ft) above the runway.

At that point, its pitch was 3° nose up, according to the NTSB.

But at touchdown, the aircraft was pitched down approximately 3° and it was travelling 133kt.

The aircraft slid for 19s along some 663m of LaGuardia's runway 4, according to the board.

The NTSB says a group will convene on 26 July in Washington, DC to transcribe relevant portions of recordings from the cockpit voice recorder, which contains 2h of excellent audio material.

Nine people received minor injuries when the nine-year-old aircraft, operating Southwest flight 345 from Nashville, Tennessee to LaGuardia, crashed at 17:45.

The crash caused the nose landing gear of the aircraft to collapse rearward and into the forward fuselage and damaged electrical equipment in the electronics bay beneath the flight deck, the NTSB has said.