With the election less than two weeks away, vice presidential candidate Mike Pence had quite the scare when his campaign plane skidded off the runway at LaGuardia Airport during landing. Fortunately, a major accident was avoided and no one was injured thanks to safety equipment on the runway which halted the airplane less than a quarter of a mile from the Grand Central Parkway.
The Indiana governor and members of the press were on board a Boeing 737 charter aircraft traveling from Iowa to New York as part of the campaign trail. The rainy weather in New York may have contributed to the plane overshooting runway 22. Pence and other passengers described a hard landing, in which the rear of the plane began to fishtail as it continued to slide past the runway into the concrete arrestor beds where it finally stopped in the mud. The vice presidential nominee admits there was, “about 10 seconds of uncertainty,” during the landing. The 37 passengers and 11 crew members on the plane were evacuated safely with no reported injuries.
A severely dangerous accident was avoided due to the arrestor beds at the end of the runway. The arrestor beds are similar to crash cushions or barrels seen on highways to lessen the impact of a crash and stop a vehicle (or in this case an airplane) from going forward. At LaGuardia Airport, the arrestor beds were able to slow the plane down and let it sink into the mud. This was critical as the Grand Central Parkway is on the other side of the perimeter fence where the plane eventually stopped. The incident occurred around 7:40, near the end of the evening rush.
The airplane was removed from the runway overnight and The National Transportation Safety Board will take over the investigation to see what caused the plane to go off the 7,000-foot runway. Port Authority crews worked through the night to repair the two areas of the runway where concrete had been ripped up. While there may be residual delays, the runway was opened by the morning.
Governor Pence credits the pilot and first responders for ensuring the safety of everyone on board. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and injuries can occur while on a plane. If you or someone you love has suffered an injury due to an accident on an airplane, taking legal action may seem like an overwhelming task. Please call the skilled and experienced attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C., to stand up for you in your time of need.