Skip to main content

Southwest fires captain who made hard landing at LaGuardia Airport

By Kristina Sgueglia and Mike M. Ahlers, CNN
updated 6:38 AM EDT, Thu October 3, 2013
A Southwest Airlines flight's landing gear collapsed shortly after touching down at LaGuardia Airport in July.
A Southwest Airlines flight's landing gear collapsed shortly after touching down at LaGuardia Airport in July.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The pilots' union says it is disappointed by the decision
  • The plane's nose gear collapsed as a result of the landing
  • Several passengers were injured in the July incident
  • The captain had flown with the airline for 13 years

New York (CNN) -- The captain of a Southwest Airlines flight that made a hard landing at LaGuardia Airport in New York in July has been fired, a spokeswoman for the airline said Wednesday.

The Boeing 737-700 aircraft landed nose wheels first, causing the nose gear to collapse. About 10 passengers were injured.

The captain -- who had flown with the airline for 13 years -- had taken control of the plane from his co-pilot when the aircraft was below 400 feet, a critical phase of flight in which experts say control is rarely changed between pilots.

The first officer will undergo additional training, Southwest spokeswoman Michelle Agnew said.

See video from inside the Southwest jet
Passenger relives Southwest crash

Neither pilot was identified by name.

The Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association said Wednesday that it was disappointed by the decision and would ensure that the fired pilot receives the right to due process.

The union said it was involved in the ongoing federal investigation over the probable cause of the incident.

"It is yet to be completed," the union said in a statement. "The purpose of such an investigation is not to assign blame but ensure the prevention of a recurrence. Similar to Southwest Airlines, we will not discuss specifics regarding active employee relations events and active investigations.

"All Southwest Airlines pilots demonstrate their qualifications in periodic recurrent training and take pride in our rule to operate our aircraft safely on over 3,400 flights per day."

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT