Political News

NTSB: Pilot error to blame for Mike Pence plane incident

Posted September 22, 2017 10:48 a.m. EDT

Errors by the cockpit crew caused a plane carrying then-vice presidential candidate Mike Pence to skid off a New York runway last fall, the National Transportation Safety Board has concluded.

The Eastern Airlines charter flight overran the runway at New York's LaGuardia Airport on October 27. No one was injured in the accident.

In its final report released Thursday, NTSB noted "several failures in close succession by a jetliner's flight crew" for the incident. It found that the first officer, who was at the controls, should have aborted the landing attempt and gone around again. Additionally, the captain failed to tell the first officer he was taking control of the plane which resulted in "each pilot attempting directional inputs that were at odds with the other."

The plane, which carried 48 occupants, was found to be nearly 2,000 feet off the normal touchdown point and skidded off the landing strip at about 45 miles per hour, according to details released by the NTSB in June.

Preliminary details of the incident -- which resulted in three flight attendants being briefly taken to the hospital to be checked out for back pain -- were made available over the summer in nearly 400 pages of documents.

Moderate to heavy rain was falling at the airport on the night of the incident, when the chartered Boeing 737 flying from Fort Dodge, Iowa, came in for a landing. At the time, other pilots reported that the runway was wet but landing conditions were "fair" or "good." The stop in LaGuardia was part of a planned campaign stop for President Donald Trump's then-running mate.

The plane flew over the end of the runway at 66 feet off the ground but then stopped descending when it should have landed, documents collected by the NTSB said.

Eastern Air Lines management has told the NTSB that it has since developed specific flight crew training to address the safety issues identified during the investigation.