The Chicago Tribune reports that radio communications between the groups involved discussions of a 10-mile-an-hour tail wind.
Tail winds, especially on slippery runways, can increase stopping distances. Experts say planes generally land into the wind if possible.
Only one runway was open Thursday when the Southwest Airline jet skidded across the airfield and smashed through a perimeter fence, striking cars on a neighboring street. Six-year-old Joshua Woods of Leroy, Indiana, was killed and ten other people were hurt.
A Chicago Department of Aviation spokeswoman says the runway could reopen tomorrow.