A Delta flight reportedly skidded off of a snow-filled runway at New York’s LaGuardia Airport Thursday, according to a report by USA Today. (“Delta Flight Veers Off Runway In Landing At LaGuardia”, March 5, 2015). The plane, which was heading to New York from Atlanta and carrying a total of 127 passengers, exited the runway before it plowed through a fence coming to rest just feet from the Flushing Bay, USA Today reported. The incident, which injured 6, but had the potential to be much worse had the plane actually made it to the bay, raised harsh criticism as to why the LaGuardia runway was open with snow and ice accumulation in the first place, according to Fox News. (“Crane Lifts Delta Jet That Slid Off Runway At LaGuardia Airport; Flight Delays Reported,” March 5, 2015). The New York times reported that 28 passengers suffered minor injuries, while 5 were taken to the hospital.
While there is no hard rule for when a runway must be ordered closed due to snow and ice accumulation, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) mandates that airports conduct proper testing to ensure that planes can safely apply their brakes, Fox News reported. According to that same report, this particular runway at LaGuardia had been plowed just minutes before the Delta flight landed, and two previous pilots who landed before the Delta flight reported good braking conditions. However, safety parachutes designed to slow the planes progress failed to deploy, USA Today reported. The National Transportation Safety Board announced that it will be obtaining the plane’s flight data and cockpit recordings through one of their investigators, according to Fox News. Yesterday’s incident comes 23 years to the month after a USAir jet crashed into the bay after sliding off of the runway during takeoff, killing 27, according to USA Today. In 2006, nationally renown personal injury attorney Robert A. Clifford and Clifford Law Offices were hired by the family of six-year-old Joshua Woods for his death when a Southwest Airlines plane slid off a runway at Midway Airport and killed him in his family’s car.