Delta Flight Skids Off Runway at LaGuardia Airport, Only Minor Injuries Reported


A Delta Airlines flight had a close encounter with Flushing Bay last Thursday as it skidded across the runway at LaGuardia Airport in New York.

The Daily Mail reports that Delta Flight 1086, a mid-sized airbus from Atlanta, slid across one of LaGuardia’s runways that morning. Though the airport claims it had plowed the runway before the landing, three inches of snow were reported to have accumulated for the day as cold, icy conditions rocked the airport and, for that matter, much of the Northeast.

The plane faced blizzard conditions as it descended with its 127 passengers and five crew members. Shortly after touching down on the runway, the plane lost control and skidded across the runway, eventually crashing into a chain-link fence separating the runway from Flushing Bay. Fortunately, the plane stopped after penetrating the fence and avoided plunging into the body of water.

The chain-linked fence on the side of the runway was designed for security and serves a practical rather than an aesthetic purpose.

The plane was evacuated 30 minutes after the crash. Of the 132 people on board, 24 were treated for injuries, including three passengers who had to be taken to a hospital. None of the injuries are thought to be life-threatening.

The plane, however, sustained damaged from the crash, suffering a broken wing and a fuel leak. The passengers exited the aircraft on a slide as the fuel leak was quickly contained.

According to a released transcript, the air traffic control tower cleared the airplane for landing and claimed that braking conditions were “good.” Once the control tower found out about the crash, it immediately ordered the airport to shut down. All incoming flights were diverted and all outgoing flights were grounded until 2 p.m., when limited service resumed.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey claimed that the plane skidded 5,000 feet down the runway before coming to a halt. “I think the pilot did everything he could to slow the aircraft down,” said Patrick J. Foye, the Executive Director of the Port Authority. The Port Authority also noted that the two aircraft which landed before Delta Flight 1086 reported good braking conditions.

The passengers and crew members reportedly exited the aircraft in a calm, orderly manner. One of the passengers, New York Giants tight end Larry Donnell, released a statement later that day.

“I feel fine physically and hopefully all the other passengers did not have any significant injuries,” Donnell said. “We were all shocked and alarmed when the plane started to skid, but most importantly, as far as I know, all of the passengers and flight crew were able to exit the plane safely.”

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