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NEW YORK — Pilots landing a plane that overran a runway at LaGuardia Airport while carrying then-vice presidential candidate Mike Pence made “several failures in close succession” that caused the plane to end up in a field of arrestor beds close to a highway, investigators said Thursday.
The Boeing 737-700 charter flight carrying the Republican and 47 other people from Fort Dodge, Iowa, to New York landed in the rain on Oct. 27, 2016, and slid sideways. No one was injured.
The National Transportation Safety Board noted that the plane “floated” for thousands of feet (hundreds of meters) before touching down more than 4,200 feet (1,280 meters) past the threshold of the 7,001-foot (2,134-meter) runway, leaving less than 2,800 feet (850 meters) of runway surface for the plane to decelerate and stop.
When the first officer, who was at the controls, failed to get the jet’s wheels on the ground within the first third of the runway, the NTSB said, he should have executed a go-around maneuver instead of continuing the landing.
The report also said that during the landing the captain didn’t announce he was assuming control of the airplane, which is contrary to procedure. It said that resulted in the two pilots attempting opposing maneuvers to control the plane.
“Eastern, stop! Stop, Eastern!” an air traffic controller said to the pilots, before immediately relaying instructions to an incoming JetBlue plane to abort a landing.
The pilots, who were not identified by name, said in a recording released by the NTSB last June that they were aware they were going to be in the news because of their high-profile passenger.
Moments after the plane came to a stop, the captain is heard saying “my career just ended” followed by the first officer saying “mine, too.”
When the dust settled, the first officer is heard saying in the cockpit, “We’re gonna be in the news.”
A spokesman for the charter flight operator did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment, but the NTSB said in its report that “it has since developed specific flight crew training to address the safety issues identified during the investigation.”
Pence, Donald Trump’s running mate at the time, said after the landing he was thankful that everyone was OK.
“Grateful for our first responders & the concern & prayers of so many,” he wrote on Twitter. “Back on the trail tomorrow!”
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