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11 Facts We Know So Far About The Delta 1086 Accident


The NTSB released its second investigation update on the Delta flight that went off the runway last week at LaGuardia airport. While it's too early to tell exactly what happened, the NTSB is looking into the possibility of auto brake, anti-skid, and thrust reverser malfunctions as a possible factors. Here's what we know so far:

1) Braking Action

The braking action was reported as 'good' from an Airbus that had landed on Runway 13 just minutes before the accident.

2) Snow On The Runway

The crew reported that when they broke out of the overcast layer on the ILS approach, the runway appeared all white.

3) Autopilot

According to the Flight Data Recorder, the autopilot was engaged until the approximately 230 feet above the ground, which is considered normal for an ILS approach.

4) Spoiler Problem

The automatic spoilers did not deploy on touchdown. The First Officer quickly deployed them manually, at which point the auto brakes should have engaged within approximately 1 second.

5) Auto Brakes

The auto brakes were set to max, however, the crew did not sense any wheel brake deceleration.

6) Heading Deviation

The captain reported he was unable to prevent the aircraft from drifting left.

7) Runway Departure

Approximately 3,000 feet from the approach end of runway 13, the aircraft departed the runway at a heading roughly 10 degrees from the runway heading.

8) Perimeter Fence

At roughly 4,100 feet from the approach end of the runway, the MD-80s left wing struck the airport perimeter fence.

9) Aircraft Stops On Berm

At roughly 5,000 feet from the approach end of the runway, the MD-80 came to a stop, with its nose over the berm. The airplane's wing destroyed 940 feet of the perimeter fence.

10) Safe Evacuation

Fortunately, all 127 passengers and 5 crew evacuated the aircraft, with only minor injuries reported.

11) ATC Audio Of Delta 1086

Here's the ATC audio recording of Delta 1086 as it was cleared to land, as well as the airport first responders notifying tower of the accident.

Colin Cutler

Colin is a Boldmethod co-founder, pilot and graphic artist. He's been a flight instructor at the University of North Dakota, an airline pilot on the CRJ-200, and has directed development of numerous commercial and military training systems. You can reach him at

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