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La Guardia Accident








Regular visitors to the website will know my views on media reporting of accidents and incidents involving passenger planes. This incident is no different.

Here are a couple of quotes from a mainstream news source.

Quote 1

Passengers described feeling turbulence as they landed, like a rocking motion. One said the jet “hit the runway and didn’t slow down until it smashed into the fence, inches from the water.”

That statement, however well intentioned and honest from the passenger’s point of view is ludicrous. If the plane didn’t slow at all then it would have been travelling so fast as it went off the end of the runway that it wouldn’t have stopped in the distance it did.

Quote 2

A spokesperson said that the two planes that arrived on Runway 13 before Delta 1086, landed smoothly, with pilots reporting good braking ability.”

Pilots are drilled into landing positively when there is any contamination on the runway so that the film of water/snow/slush that is between the tyres and the runway is broken, allowing the tyres to make contact with the runway surface.

Even with the wheels skidding reverse thrust will slow the plane.

I suspect that there spokesperson meant uneventfully rather than smoothly. The view of good braking or otherwise is subjective as the plane does not have equipment to measure retardation. Aircraft are fitted with anti-skid braking systems which adjust the wheel braking according to the surface conditions.

Furthermore, but I don’t know if this type of plane is fitted with the braking system that I am familiar with but the automatic brake setting will give a Rate of Retardation  which means when reverse thrust is applied the wheels brakes  reduce application to maintain a pre determined  rate of slowing down.

Before landing the pilots will apply the weather conditions to their landing performance data to ensure that regardless of the prevailing conditions the performance of the plane will meet the landing requirements.

The policy of is to report and inform in a way that is both honest and helpful. We want you to be able to rely upon what we say to build trust and confidence so that we can help you to overcome your fear of flying.

Captain Keith


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