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Captain of Southwest Plane Took Over at Last Minute

The captain of the Southwest Airlines plane whose nose gear collapsed at LaGuardia Airport took over from the first officer during the last 400 feet of the landing, reports the Huffington Post. The article cited a private aviation expert who proclaimed: “It’s unusual for a co-pilot or captain to take over a plane that is landing when it’s so close to the tarmac unless there are ‘profound’ safety issues.”

Investigations of the accident – that injured 16 passengers – have revealed no mechanical problems or malfunctions of the plane. There was no immediate explanation for the pilot’s decision to take over the landing.

The captain, a veteran pilot, had 12,000 total flight hours, including 8,000 hours on Boeing 737s, the type of plane involved in the accident. The first officer had 5,200 flight hours, with approximately 1,100 hours in 737s, though none as pilot-in-command of the 737 flights.

Transportation Fatalities

Statistically, commercial plane travel is generally safe.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, transportation fatalities in 2011 broke down as follows:

  • Highway, 32,367
  • Marine, 800
  • Rail, 759
  • Aviation, 494

Nonetheless, when plane accidents occur, it can be hard to think about the statistics. And as demonstrated by the Southwest Airlines incident, a plane crash can be traumatizing even when no fatalities occur.

If you have suffered an injury while on a plane – whether from a bad landing, dislodged overhead luggage or other reason – you may be eligible for compensation. Send a quick message to the New York personal injury law firm at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., so we can determine whether you have a case.

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