NTSB: Captain Took Over On Final
In an update issued Tuesday afternoon, the NTSB said the captain of a Southwest Airlines 737 that landed nosewheel-first at New York's LaGuardia Airport on July 22 had taken over control from the first officer "at a point below 400 feet" as the jet approached for landing. It was the first time the two pilots had flown together. The first officer had flown into LGA before, including six flights in 2013, and it was the second arrival for the captain, who had acted as the monitoring pilot both times. The nose gear collapsed on the runway, causing substantial damage to the airplane. All 150 onboard were evacuated and eight people were treated for injuries. "At this point in the investigation, no mechanical anomalies or malfunctions have been found," the NTSB said. "A preliminary examination of the nose gear indicated that it failed due to stress overload."
The safety board also said the captain has been with Southwest for 13 years, and has been a captain for six years, with more than 12,000 hours of flight time. The first officer has been with Southwest for about 18 months, and has about 5,200 total flight hours. Tuesday's report also said, "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." The NTSB said investigators have collected five videos showing various aspects of the crash landing. The team will be analyzing these recordings in the coming months.