Release #: 16.39
September 13, 2016

ALPA Statement on NTSB Delta Flight 1086 Investigation Findings

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) issued the following statement at the conclusion of the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) meeting regarding the Delta Air Lines Flight 1086 runway excursion at LaGuardia Airport on March 5, 2015.

“The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l is disappointed with today’s National Transportation Safety Board single probable cause statement, which abandoned a ‘systems’ approach to accident investigation regarding the Delta Air Lines Flight 1086 runway excursion that occurred on March 5, 2015, at LaGuardia Airport.

“The NTSB’s single probable cause failed to fully and directly acknowledge the multiple factors that contributed to the accident. The NTSB’s Performance Study in this investigation concluded that a combination of factors including asymmetric thrust, crosswind, and runway friction caused the aircraft to deviate from the runway heading. As a result of the NTSB’s focus on a single probable cause, the airline industry has missed a valuable opportunity to address the multiple factors involved in the event with the goal of advancing aviation safety.”

“In addition, ALPA points out that the NTSB’s investigation found that the flight crew was well prepared for the approach and that their established landing requirements were consistent with company policies. Additionally, the NTSB found that the flight crew’s decision to continue their approach and landing was ‘not inappropriate.’”

“ALPA is concerned that the NTSB inadequately highlighted the lack of timely and accurate runway condition measuring and reporting information available to the pilots. ALPA welcomes the new voluntary Federal Aviation Administration standards and best practices for determining and reporting runway condition information, which will go into effect on October 1. The new standards mark key progress in runway condition data gathering and information sharing that ALPA has sought for decades. The new guidance will provide pilots with improved data regarding runway conditions before they are able to see the runway, enhancing the safety of air transportation for all who depend on it.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 54,000 pilots at 31 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.


CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or