The Delta Airlines accident at New York’s LaGuardia airport was related to the plane’s brakes, said investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Among the factors they considered, was the report from the pilots of the flight. The pilots had said that the automatic braking systems were set to maximum operation but they didn’t “sense any wheel brake deceleration.” The captain also said that he was unable to keep the airplane from drifting left.
Unable to stop using the automatic system, the Boeing MD-88 aircraft skidded off the runway and crashed through a chain-link fence, stopping just feet from Flushing Bay. There were 127 passengers on board and more than two dozen of them suffered minor injuries.
Brakes are one of the most important safety features on a vehicle. Defective brakes can mean serious injury and even death for the vehicle occupants, whether that vehicle is a plane, car or truck. The failure of the automatic spoilers complicated the landing of the Delta flight. The NTSB said it was possible that the plane was saved from a possibly catastrophic accident because the first officer manually deployed the spoilers. Spoilers are the plates on the top of the wings that help slow the plane down during landings. According to The Wall Street Journal (3.9.15), the safety board will continue to test and examine the jetliner’s braking systems, along with so-called thrust reversers. Safety-board experts will also focus on whether relying on the automated features made the situation worse.
The runway “appeared all white” to the pilots who said they based their decision to use automated braking on air-traffic controller reports of good braking conditions. The controllers had passed on verbal reports from pilots of two planes that landed successfully right before the Delta flight. This means, federal investigators will also likely examine Delta’s pilot training and safety procedures related to using the automated features on a slippery runway. Driver error is associated with a large number of vehicular accidents. Driver errors can range from small mistakes that do not result in accidents to critical mistakes that can lead to deadly crashes.
Individuals who have been injured in an accident caused by another person should contact an experienced lawyer.