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Last updated: 3 December 2020
Status:Final
Date:Monday 22 July 2013
Time:17:44
Type:Silhouette image of generic B737 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 737-7H4 (WL)
Operator:Southwest Airlines
Registration: N753SW
C/n / msn: 29848/400
First flight: 1999-10-06 (13 years 10 months)
Total airframe hrs:49536
Engines: 2 CFMI CFM56-7B22
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 145
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 150
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:New York-La Guardia Airport, NY (LGA) (   United States of America)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Nashville International Airport, TN (BNA/KBNA), United States of America
Destination airport:New York-La Guardia Airport, NY (LGA/KLGA), United States of America
Flightnumber:WN345
Narrative:
Southwest Airlines flight 345, a Boeing 737-700, suffered a nose gear collapse during a hard landing on runway 4 at New York-LaGuardia Airport (LGA), USA. Of the 144 passengers and 5 crewmembers on board, 8 sustained minor injuries, and the airplane was substantially damaged.
The flight had departed from Nashville International Airport (BNA), Tennessee, about 14:33 central daylight time. The first officer was the pilot flying (PF) for the trip to LGA, and a pilot from another airline occupied the cockpit jumpseat. The en route part of the flight was uneventful.
As the airplane was on final approach, the captain, who was the pilot monitoring (PM), realized that the flaps were not configured as had been briefed, with a setting of 40 degrees for the landing.
The captain set the flaps to 40 degrees as the airplane was descending through about 500 ft altitude, which was about 51 seconds from touchdown. When the airplane was between 100 to 200 ft altitude, it was above the glideslope. Concerned that the airplane was too high, the captain exclaimed repeatedly "get down" to the first officer about 9 seconds from touchdown. About 3 seconds from touchdown when the airplane was about 27 ft altitude, the captain announced "I got it," indicating that she was taking control of the airplane, and the first officer replied, "ok, you got it."
After the captain took control, the control column was relaxed to a neutral position and the throttles were not advanced until about 1 second before touchdown. The airplane touched down at a descent rate of 960 ft per minute and a nose-down pitch attitude of -3.1 degrees, resulting in the nose gear contacting the runway first and a hard landing. The airplane came to a stop on the right side of the runway centerline about 2,500 ft from its initial touchdown.

The operator's stabilized approach criteria require an immediate go-around if the airplane flaps or landing gear were not in the final landing configuration by 1,000 ft above the touchdown zone; in this case, the flaps were not correctly configured until the airplane was passing through 500 ft. Further, the airplane's deviation about the glideslope at 100 to 200 ft would have been another opportunity for the captain, as the PM at this point during the flight, to call for a go-around, as indicated in the Southwest Airlines Flight Operations Manual (FOM).

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The captain's attempt to recover from an unstabilized approach by transferring airplane control at low altitude instead of performing a go-around. Contributing to the accident was the captain's failure to comply with standard operating procedures."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years
Accident number: DCA13FA131
Download report: Summary report

Classification:
Landing after unstabilized approach
Runway mishap

Sources:
» NTSB
» Jet bound for scrap (Times Union, 29-1-2014)
» SKYbrary 


Photos

photo of Boeing-737-7H4-N753SW
accident date: 22-07-2013
type: Boeing 737-7H4 (WL)
registration: N753SW
photo of Boeing-737-7H4-N753SW
accident date: 22-07-2013
type: Boeing 737-7H4 (WL)
registration: N753SW
photo of Boeing-737-7H4-N753SW
accident date: 22-07-2013
type: Boeing 737-7H4 (WL)
registration: N753SW
photo of Boeing-737-7H4-N753SW
accident date: 22-07-2013
type: Boeing 737-7H4 (WL)
registration: N753SW
photo of Boeing-737-7H4-N753SW
accident date: 22-07-2013
type: Boeing 737-7H4 (WL)
registration: N753SW
photo of Boeing-737-7H4-N753SW
accident date: 22-07-2013
type: Boeing 737-7H4 (WL)
registration: N753SW
photo of Boeing-737-7H4-N753SW
accident date: 22-07-2013
type: Boeing 737-7H4 (WL)
registration: N753SW
photo of Boeing-737-7H4-N753SW
Flight Data Recorder (FDR) graph
photo of Boeing-737-7H4-N753SW
accident date: 22-07-2013
type: Boeing 737-7H4 (WL)
registration: N753SW
 

Video, social media

Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Nashville International Airport, TN to New York-La Guardia Airport, NY as the crow flies is 1219 km (762 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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Boeing 737-700

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