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Southwest Airplane Loses Landing Gear

After a Southwest Airlines airplane lost its front landing gear on July 22, federal investigators have recovered the flight data and cockpit voice recorders from the aircraft. When the front landing gear collapsed, the plane was sent skidding along the tarmac at New York City's LaGuardia Airport.

The recorders were recovered on July 23, just one day after the rough landing caused a temporary closure at La Guardia airport. The recorders have been sent to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) lab in Washington.

As Southwest Airlines Flight 345 arrived at La Guardia from Nashville on that evening, the nose collapsed right after the plane touched down on the runway. Ten passengers were treated for injuries at the scene, six were taken to hospital with minor injuries and six crew members were taken to a second hospital for observation. Apparently there was no advance warning of any problem before the landing.

In spite of that conjecture, the flight had been delayed in leaving Nashville; passengers reported hearing an announcement saying there was, "something wrong with a tire."

After the plane skidded down and off of the runway, passengers exited the plane using chutes. They were then put on a bus and taken to the terminal. The NTSB and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating.

The landing gear collapse comes just 16 days after Asiana Flight 214 crash-landed at San Francisco's airport, killing two passengers; a third person from that flight was killed when a fire truck ran over her while responding to the crash of the Boeing 777 that was flying from South Korea.