Federal team pores over data from Delta jet in NYC accident - Metro US

Federal team pores over data from Delta jet in NYC accident

By Laila Kearney

By Laila Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Federal safety investigators have started poring over flight data and cockpit voice recordings from the Delta Air Lines jetliner that skidded off a runway at New York’s LaGuardia Airport during a snowstorm, officials said on Friday.

A second team from the National Transportation Safety Board would begin interviewing the crew of Delta Flight 1086 on Saturday and review maintenance records, the NTSB said in a statement. The interviews will take place in Atlanta, where Delta has its headquarters.

The Boeing Co MD-88 aircraft, en route from Atlanta on Thursday, slid on the tarmac, crashed through a fence and came to a stop on an embankment just feet from Flushing Bay. Several of the 127 passengers and five crew members suffered minor injuries.

The plane involved in the accident was moved into a hangar overnight for closer examination. An image released by local media showed the jetliner being lifted by a crane from its perch on a berm just above the water’s edge.

The accident forced the shutdown for more than three hours of LaGuardia Airport, snarling air traffic along the U.S. East Coast and exacerbating weather-related disruptions.

Earlier Friday, airport officials reopened the runway where the Delta plane skidded and the airport went back into full operation, the Port Authority said in a statement.

The incident has cast a spotlight on how airports determine when to shut down runways during inclement winter weather.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport, is responsible for deciding whether to close runways or its airports, while the FAA decides which runways are used by arriving planes given the wind direction and weather conditions, the FAA said.

The Port Authority, which is responsible for runway maintenance, said on Thursday the runway where the Delta plane skidded was plowed just before the accident and that flight crews on two planes that touched down only minutes earlier had reported “good braking action” after their landings.

The NTSB said the investigation, which involves the FAA, Delta, the Air Line Pilots Association, Boeing , and Pratt & Whitney, the unit of United Technologies Corp that made the aircraft’s engines, was ongoing. It said it would make further updates as events warranted.

(Reporting by Laila Kearney, editing by G Crosse and Doina Chiacu)

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