Is La Guardia Aiport Safe?

near-missIs La Guardia safe?

Below are excerpts from actual commercial pilot reports submitted to NASA's Aviation Safety Reporting System. The publicly available database, states the following on its home page:

"The ASRS is a small but important facet of the continuing effort by government, industry, and individuals to maintain and improve aviation safety. The ASRS collects voluntarily submitted aviation safety incident/situation reports from pilots, controllers, and others.

The ASRS acts on the information these reports contain. It identifies system deficiencies, and issues alerting messages to persons in a position to correct them. It educates through its newsletter CALLBACK, its journal ASRS Directline and through its research studies. Its database is a public repository which serves the FAA and NASA's needs and those of other organizations world-wide which are engaged in research and the promotion of safe flight."

Listed below are just a few of the reports filed with the Aviation Safety Reportings System dealing with aircraft activity at La Guardia Airport.

Feel free to search the Aviation Safety Reporting System here. It contains a wealth of information on all sorts of human and technological errors that put the flying public at risk at La Guardia. For members of the media who need an explanation of the terminology contained in the reports, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for assistance.

Red highlighting added for emphasis

Time Place Assessments Primary Problem Synopsis
0601-1200 LGA.Airport Environment - Non Weather Related An A320 Captain reported a crane adjacent to the final approach to Runway 31 at LGA is a hazard to aircraft which overshoot the turn to final when flying the Expressway Visual approach. Although the crane is referenced within FDC departure and approach NOTAMs the reporter believed a separate obstacle NOTAM is necessary.
0601-1200 LGA.Tower Human Factors Air Carrier First Officer discovers after the fact that a NOTAM exists restricting the ILS Runway 4 at LGA to aircraft with RNAV GPS capability. His aircraft is not so equipped.
0601-1200 LGA.Tower Human Factors Air Carrier First Officer discovers after the fact that a NOTAM exists restricting the ILS Runway 4 at LGA to aircraft with RNAV GPS capability. His aircraft is not so equipped.
0601-1200 LGA.Airport Human Factors B737 Captain reports discovering late in the takeoff roll that the autothrottles have not achieved planned takeoff N1. Thrust is increased and the aircraft barely clears obstacles at the far end of the runway.
0601-1200 LGA.Airport Environment - Non Weather Related A B717 Captain reported a deviation from a crossing altitude on approach to LGA partly as a result of a wake vortex encounter and partly an apparent FMC glitch.
1801-2400 LGA.Airport Aircraft A CL-65 flight crew rejected their takeoff from LGA when they realized they had briefed a tweny degree flap setting but had extended only eight degrees.
0601-1200 LGA.Airport Aircraft EMB190 Captain discovers that his aircraft's FMC cannot properly fly the HAARP 1 arrival into LGA from over BDL. The FMC begins a gentle turn well before VALRE and does not make the crossing restriction at BASYE.
0001-0600 LGA.Airport EMB190 Captain discovers that his aircraft's FMC cannot properly fly the HAARP 1 arrival into LGA from over BDL. The FMC begins a gentle turn well before VALRE and does not make the crossing restriction at BASYE.
1201-1800 LGA.Airport Airport A BE400's heading was affected by the LGA Runway 13 magnetic anomaly causing its heading to be off so dramatically that the takeoff was refuse while the problem was addressed.
1201-1800 LGA.Airport Ambiguous CRJ900 First Officer believes that his aircraft cannot comply with the climb requirements of the LGA 2 with Maspeth climb and conveys the information to Clearance Delivery. A Whitestone climb is assigned and flown, but was not what Departure Control was expecting.
0601-1200 LGA.Airport Environment - Non Weather Related An aircraft on the LGA Runway 31 LOC received a 'CAUTION TERRAIN' alert near 600 FT while three to four miles from the runway in visual conditions. The aircraft ahead, behind and the reporter all received ATC low altitude alerts.
0001-0600 LGA.Airport Human Factors Captain reported deviating from the LGA Whetstone Climb because of fatigue and a slight distraction due to wake turbulence.
1201-1800 LGA.Airport Ambiguous An air carrier Captain reported it appeared to him that another carrier's de-ice crew was using superior technique to the crew working his aircraft.
0601-1200 LGA.Airport Aircraft PA28 pilot with instructor reports electrical failure during a flight down the Hudson River Class B Exclusion. The reporters are able to clear the area and return to their departure point safely.
0601-1200 LGA.Airport Ambiguous A Captain stopped abruptly because of LGA ground traffic and as a result a Flight Attendant's back hit a cabin door injuring him so that he was removed for medical care at the next stop.
0001-0600 LGA.Airport An air carrier Captain took exception to attempts by managers to circumvent decisions by both the Dispatcher and the Captain that an aircraft with an inoperative reverser was not suitable for dispatch to/from an airport with adverse field conditions.
1201-1800 LGA.Airport Human Factors The Flight Crew of an MD80 set 29.48 vice the actual 30.48 in their altimeters descending through FL180 into LGA. Neither the Flight Crew nor ATC noticed the error until the Captain noted the altimeters indicated below sea level while parked at the gate.
1801-2400 LGA.Airport Aircraft A CRJ-700 Flight Crew suffered a heading deviation on departure from LGA. The aircraft was dispatched with the magnetic heading mode of the EFIS on a CDL status and the Flight Crew reselected the MAG mode while in a turn, likely causing the Magnetic Heading to be in error. ATC advised of the error and provided additional vectors until the problem was resolved.
1801-2400 LGA.Airport Human Factors Confusion over the position of traffic they were to follow given by ATC coincident with a vector clearance resulted in a TCAS RA for an air carrier flight crew.
1201-1800 LGA.Airport Human Factors N90 Controller providing OJT described an event involving a loss of separation event, noting the event occurred because of attempts to let the trainee go as far as possible for needed experience.
0601-1200 LGA.Airport Ambiguous Regional Jet landing LGA has wake encounter at 7,000 FT from preceding B757 several miles ahead at lower altitude.
0601-1200 LGA.Airport Ambiguous An A319 flight crew momentarily lost control while expediting their single engine taxi across a wet, active runway. An aircraft on final had to go around while they regained control.
1201-1800 LGA.Airport Aircraft CRJ700 flight crew experienced a number 1 AHRS failure during departure from LGA with the Captain flying. Both pilots were slow to recognize the failure and track and speed deviations occur before the first Officer assumed the flying duties.
1801-2400 LGA.Airport Aircraft A Dash 8 flight crew reported experiencing an apparent phantom target TCAS event on approach into LGA near HPN.
1201-1800 LGA.Airport Procedure An air carrier First Officer reported a go-around from 300 FT on approach to LGA's Runway 22 because Tower released an aircraft for takeoff on Runway 31 that would conflict with them during landing.
0601-1200 LGA.Airport Human Factors CRJ50 flight crew was cleared to cross Runway 22 at LGA then detecting an aircraft about to touch down on the same runway. The CRJ crew stopped short of the runway but over the hold short line and the landing traffic went around.
0601-1200 LGA.Airport Aircraft A CRJ900 Captain reported that when cleared direct COL on the LGA 2 Departure, two COL NAVAIDS appeared on the FMS. ATC issued vectors to Colts Neck (COL) after the aircraft turned to the incorrect COL NAVAID.
LGA.Airport Human Factors An A319 First Officer turned the wrong direction while executing the LGA 2 SID, WHITESTONE CLIMB from LGA.
1201-1800 LGA.Airport Human Factors B737 First Officer reports inadvertently selecting TO/GA after a low visibility approach to minimums while attempting to disconnect autothrust. The error was quickly corrected and a safe landing ensued.
0601-1200 LGA.Airport Procedure Air carrier pilot described a minimal wake separation event on short final to LGA when ATC requested the flight crew to maintain visual separation, the reporter suggesting current ATC wake separation applications are unsafe.
0601-1200 LGA.Airport Ambiguous An Air Carrier First Officer attempted to get a hotel room during an extended lay over at the Airlines expense because of a poor nights sleep and a long day. The Airline refused and prior to departure the pilot called in fatigued and went to a hotel.
1801-2400 LGA.Tower Staffing An air carrier Captain reported that LGA Tower works at night with one Controller who answers all radio calls for both Tower and Ground. The delays and distractions for flight crews hearing all transmissions are considered a safety hazard.
0601-1200 LGA.Airport Human Factors An Air Carrier Flight Crew got a terrain warning on the Expressway Visual to LGA Runway 31.
1801-2400 LGA.Airport Human Factors Captain reported LGA Ground Controller instructing aircraft to taxi at best possible speed. Reporter believes this creates unsafe situations.
0601-1200 LGA.Airport Human Factors Air carrier Flight Crew is assigned the LGA 2 with the Flushing climb but mistakenly flies the Whitestone climb. The error is quickly caught and corrected by the Departure Controller.
0601-1200 LGA.Airport Human Factors A320 Captain experiences a TCAS RA on the MIP3 arrival at 10000 feet just south of SBJ. Evasive action is taken, climbing to 11500 feet to avoid an uncontrolled aircraft climbing through the stratus layer. Reporter also laments the poor visibility of the vertical speed bar in bright sunlight with sun glasses on.
1801-2400 LGA.Airport Aircraft An MD-80 Captain reported experiencing a compressor stall while setting power for takeoff. The takeoff was rejected and the aircraft returned to the gate.
0001-0600 LGA.Airport Procedure ZOB controller described confused event when traffic for LGA was initially accepted but then immediately turned back into no notice holding, reporter noting identical event several minutes later, adding procedure was unsafe.
0601-1200 LGA.Airport Human Factors A Air Carrier crew flew the LGA Whitestone Climb Departure from Runway 31 even though the LGA VOR and DME which are required for navigation were out of service. ATC issued the clearance and the NOTAM.
1801-2400 LGA.Airport Environment - Non Weather Related A CL300, affected by a magnetic anomaly at LGA's Runway 13 hold short point, had EFIS MISCOMPARE lights and so took off with the compasses in the DG mode. A track deviation resulted when the heading did not immediately slaved and distracted while troubleshooting the problem, the crew overshot then undershot the assigned altitudes.
1801-2400 LGA.Airport Ambiguous An ERJ175 Captain described TCAS RA conflict with another aircraft as he flew up the Hudson River on a visual approach to LGA Runway 22.
LGA.Airport Environment - Non Weather Related An air carrier flight struck a large bird just prior to touchdown at LGA.
1201-1800 LGA.Airport Human Factors A320 flight crew reported a go-around from 500 FT during the Expressway Visual to Runway 31 at LGA. Reporters had difficulty with ATC communications and aircraft automation, causing an altitude overshoot. Second approach was unstabilized but successful.
0601-1200 LGA.Airport Ambiguous B737-700 Captain accepted an aircraft with MEL 30-1 for right wing anti-ice valve wired in the open position but did not comprehend the requirements of this MEL. The right bleed valve was not closed after engine start and crew departed in this configuration.
0601-1200 LGA.Airport Aircraft A B757-200's anti-skid malfunctioned on landing causing two tires to shred, one to go flat and allowed the crew to taxi to the gate without any indication of tire or brake difficulties.
1801-2400 LGA.Airport Human Factors An air carrier pilot accidentally changed frequencies approaching LGA while communicating with N90 TRACON. Because 121.5 was monitored the crew was quickly notified of their NORDO status on guard and reestablished communications.
0001-0600 LGA.Airport Ambiguous A B737-700 flight crew reported severe static and musical interference on N90 TRACON frequency downwind to LGA Runway 22.
0001-0600 LGA.Airport Chart Or Publication Cleared for the expressway visual to Runway 31 at LGA an air carrier flight crew was unable to make contact with the runway soon enough to make a timely, stabilized descent and landing.
1801-2400 LGA.Airport Ambiguous Jetranger pilot is unable to contact LGA Tower while performing a tour of New York City. Violation of New York Class B results.




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