The application of excessive reverse thrust during a landing at New York-LaGuardia Airport, March, 5, 2015, led to a loss of directional control and the MD-88’s departure from the snow covered runway, according to findings of the NTSB.
Delta Air Lines flight 1086 landed on LaGuardia Airport’s runway 13, veered to the left and departed the 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 NTSB investigation found that the probable cause of the accident, in which 29 of 127 passengers suffered minor injuries, was the captain’s inability to maintain directional control of the MD-88 due to his application of excessive reverse thrust, which degraded the effectiveness of the rudder in controlling the airplane heading. The aircraft was substantially damaged.
The NTSB investigation also revealed that, during the accident sequence, damage to the aircraft resulted in the loss of the interphone and public address system as methods of communication after the accident. As a result, the announcement to evacuate the aircraft was delayed and more than 17 minutes passed before all passengers were off the aircraft.