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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: DCA15FA085
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 121: Air Carrier operation of Delta Air Lines
Accident occurred Thursday, March 05, 2015 in New York, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/03/2017
Aircraft: MCDONNELL DOUGLAS AIRCRAFT CO MD 88, registration: N909DL
Injuries: 132 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The Safety Board's full report is available at http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Pages/AccidentReports.aspx. The Aircraft Accident Report number is NTSB/AAR-16/02.

On March 5, 2015, at 1102 eastern standard time, Delta Air Lines flight 1086, a Boeing MD-88, N909DL, was landing on runway 13 at LaGuardia Airport, New York, New York, when it departed the left side of the runway, contacted the airport perimeter fence, and came to rest with the airplane's nose on an embankment next to Flushing Bay. The 2 pilots, 3 flight attendants, and 98 of the 127 passengers were not injured; the other 29 passengers received minor injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged. Flight 1086 was a regularly scheduled passenger flight from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Atlanta, Georgia, operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121. An instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.


The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • the captain's inability to maintain directional control of the airplane due to his application of excessive reverse thrust, which degraded the effectiveness of the rudder in controlling the airplane's heading. Contributing to the accident were the captain's (1) situational stress resulting from his concerns about stopping performance and (2) attentional limitations due to the high workload during the landing, which prevented him from immediately recognizing the use of excessive reverse thrust.