- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 3, 2013

You’re fired: That’s what Southwest Airlines executives told a captain on Wednesday after finding him responsible for a hard-enough landing at LaGuardia Airport in New York that left several injured.

A spokeswoman for the airline said the pilot had flown for the company for 13 years, The New York Post reported. But in July, he landed the Boeing 737-700 so roughly — nose wheels first — that nose gear collapsed and 10 passengers were injured.

The airline determined the captain wrongfully took control of the craft from his co-pilot at a crucial time in flight — when the plane was flying below 400 feet. Pilot changes are rarely conducted at that level because of the risk of losing control.

The fired captain’s first officer was also ordered to take extra training, the airline spokeswoman said, in The Post.

The airline declined to release the names of those involved in the incident.

Union representatives expressed disappointment with the ruling and promised to investigate further.

“[The investigation] has yet to be completed,” the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association said in a statement. “The purpose of such an investigation is not to assign blame but ensure the prevention of a recurrence. Similar to Southwest Airlines, we will not discuss specifics regarding active employee relations events and active investigations.”



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