NEW YORK CITY — Federal investigators have video showing Southwest Airlines Flight 345 landing nose first onto a LaGuardia Airport runway where the jet crashed Monday night, DNAinfo New York has learned.
The footage retrieved from a LaGuardia Airport surveillance camera shows the Boeing 737, which was carrying 150 passengers and crew, as it approached the runway from an altitude of about 30 feet, and is different from a separate video clip circulating at news websites.
The new clip clearly shows “the plane was coming in nose forward and downward, which is not the correct approach” for a landing, a source who viewed the video told “On the Inside.”
Unlike the two rear wheels, the single front wheel is incapable of withstanding the landing and the weight of the jet, the source explained, and it immediately gave way.
Investigators have yet to determine if the nose dive was caused by a sudden downward wind shear, mechanical problems or pilot error.
Even if they determine the flawed descent was pilot error, investigators believe his actions once the plane hit the runway prevented a full blown catastrophe.
"The plane should have been strewn all over the runway," said a source who viewed the clip "Everyone believes the pilot had to be awfully skilled to prevent that from happening."
The plane slid nearly 2,200 feet on its nose before coming to a stop at about 5:40 p.m.
Ten people aboard the flight from Nashville, Tenn. were injured, but none seriously.
The damaged jet was removed by flatbed truck to a nearby hanger to be examined by investigators.
Monday's accident came a little more than two weeks after a South Korean plane crash-landed in San Francisco International Airport, killing three teenage girls and injuring 182 people onboard.
Flights to and from LaGuardia experienced delays Tuesday, but the airport has since resumed normal schedules.