Landing gear maker says hasn't been asked to join Southwest probe

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 26, 2013 7:37 PM
Landing gear maker says hasn't been asked to join Southwest probe

(Reuters) - The United Technologies unit that makes landing gear said on Friday it had not been asked to participate in a U.S. investigation into Monday's crash of a Southwest Airlines jet at New York's LaGuardia Airport.

Dan Coulom, a spokesman for UTC Aerospace Systems, said his company made the main landing gear and the nose gear on the Southwest Boeing 737. The nose gear collapsed when the jet hit the runway.

The National Transportation Safety Board on Thursday said the Southwest jet landed on its front landing gear before its main landing gear touched down on the runway, a landing the carrier said was "not in accordance with our operating procedures."

NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss on Friday declined to comment on any new insights gleaned by investigators. He said the investigation will look at "the aircraft, the people and the environment." The examination of the plane would look at various equipment including the landing gear, he said.

Coulom said his company had not been asked to take part in the NTSB probe. "If asked to participate we would certainly fully support any investigation," Coulom said in an email on Friday.

Monday's crash, which occurred as Southwest Flight 345 arrived at LaGuardia from Nashville, Tennessee, was the latest in a series of flight safety incidents involving Boeing aircraft. Nine people out of 150 passengers and crew on board had minor injuries, investigators said.

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A source close to the investigation said it was too soon to focus on pilot error as a cause of the incident, adding that there are other factors to consider including aircraft performance and wind conditions.

Southwest declined to comment on Friday.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa in Washington, additional reporting by Karen Jacobs in Atlanta; editing by Andrew Hay)