Southwest Pilot Fired for July Mishap in New York

Southwest Airlines fired the captain who was piloting a plane that landed nose first at New York’s LaGuardia Airport in July, injuring nine people and snarling air traffic for hours.

The captain, a Southwest pilot for 13 years, took control from the first officer just before the Boeing 737 hit the runway, U.S. investigators said in August.

Southwest acted after completing its investigation into the July 22 accident, while the National Transportation Safety Board, continues its own inquiry after finding no evidence of a mechanical failure.

With its nose pointed three degrees downward, the 737-700 struck the runway first with the landing gear at the front of the plane instead of settling onto the main wheels located beneath the wings, the NTSB said in a July 25 release.

The forward gear broke, snapping rearward and damaging an electronics bay. Flight 345 was arriving from Nashville and carried 150 people.

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