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Southwest plane's nose gear landed first, NTSB says

Southwest plane's nose gear landed first, NTSB says
Federal agents investigate an accident involving the nose-gear collapse of a Southwest Airlines plane in New York. (Associated Press)

Federal investigators said Thursday that a Southwest Airlines jet that crashed at New York’s LaGuardia Airport landed first on its nose gear before the main landing gear made contact with the runway.

"The landing scenario that the report describes is not in accordance with our operating procedures," Southwest Airlines spokesman Brad Harkins told the Los Angeles Times.

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The National Transportation Safety Board said the Boeing 737 aircraft was pitched downward at an angle of 3 degrees when it landed. The front landing gear collapsed into the fuselage and the plane slid on the runway for 19 seconds until it stopped, according to the NTSB.

Sixteen passengers suffered minor injuries during the hard landing Monday. Flight 345, arriving at LaGuardia from Nashville, was carrying 143 passengers and six crew members.

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The NTSB said it would review the flight data and cockpit voice recordings.

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Twitter: @benjmueller

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