FlightAware Discussions

BREAKING NEWS - Dash 8 Crash in Buffalo


I am not a member of the NTSB, but I did stay at another Holiday Inn Express last night…

What came first…the chicken or the egg?
We are kidding ourselves if we think ice played no factor in this. So ask yourself…did the ice cause the crash, failure of the pilot to react, failure of de-icing equipment to work, etc??? Phrase it anyway you want but at the end of the day, ice was the issue here.


flightaware.com/live/flight/AWE1 … F/tracklog

Not sure how labor intensive it would be to try and figure out from the track log listening to the atc on atclive where he says he was relative to the ice starting to build.


I did not mean lat/long where the ice was building, I meant where on the airframe was the ice building? According to one previous post it could not build on the wing due to the wing having a hot leading edge! also if you are in an airbus, how much and how well can you see the wing? Something to think about. I’ve flown in icing conditions like this and when the ice I report as building would be on something that cannot get rid of the ice and therefore has no effect on the ability of the airplane to fly. Does that make any sense? It just gives me a sense of how much ice i’ve built during my time in the icing conditions.


k – let me try this one more time, then i move on…

here are the facts, as i know them – no assumptions or implications unless noted – just the facts, ma’am

and i’ll say also at the outset – no one fact by itself means fatalities – it’s the combo


mod. icing and mod. severe turbulence in the forecast [not confirmed]

deice on 10 min. after take off [or maybe after engine start? – not certain which]

captain less than 100 hrs in type

flt. t/o bout 2 hrs behind schedule

[assumption] crew on duty 13.5 hours

icing discussed on cvr; reported to atc by other arrivals

ice on colgan’s windscreen

ias 130 k before flaps and gear

a/c vectored to intercept just outside klump [marker]


imc at the marker [per delta 1998]

atc asked for verification of loc operation

dl1998 reports + and - 1 dot deflection at 1500 msl

what do these facts add up to?

usually nothing

what can they add up to?


ok – now a few responses to capt mel’s post above –

re. delta – yes – re. their climb and alt. verification

re. the loc – maybe yes, maybe no

if u want to listen to atc after 1031 that nite, there may be more info from other a/c re. the loc – but maybe not, cuz basically, they were breaking our rt past the marker and mostly had visual all the way in from there – can’t say for certain though – so if anyone wants to listen – that would be helpful

re. emergency – none of these facts by themselves = emergency, and when you’re 1500 agl or lower [fact] and your stick pusher shoves the nose down [fact] and u pull the stick back and override it [fact], go full power [fact] and the nose goes 30 degrees above horizon [fact] and your last ias readout shows 100k [fact]…

mayday won’t help

re. the ntsb:

once ntsb issues its final – it’s FINAL!

re. attorneys:

they don’t help! [sides – who pays them? – and only victims’ families have standing in the case [no–i’m not an atty]]

are we done now? was it as good for you as it was for me?? ;-]



captnmel… Here’s the speed limits for the Q400:

Vlo - 200
VFlap 5 - 200
Flap 10 - 181
Flap 15 - 172
Flap 35 - 158


more relevant – what are the low limits or recommended speeds for those configs – especially clean and min. flaps with and without gear extended –

i assume 130 k clean is low, but give me the facts, ma’am


Again, the way you are coming off is what I’m implying. You sound like you are making judgement on this crew to me and a few others as well. I’m just saying let us leave the fact finding to the NTSB. Is there a problem with that, no not that I can see. I have seen all the things you have seen and I’m still saying lets just wait for the NTSB report to come out. If we can’t then maybe we should be working for the NTSB.


:laughing: Man… Do I gotta do all the work around here?.. :wink:

Va clean @ 44000 lbs : 130 Kts
Va clean @ 54000 lbs : 143 Kts (near actual landing weight)
Va clean @ 64000 lbs : 157 Kts


Thanks AZ, they did bump the max speeds up for gear and flap extensions on the 400. From what I’ve read and seen on the websites out there, the 400 sounds like a really big improvement and I wish I could have flown it as well! But I have had a lot of fun in the planes I’ve flown since just as much.


Regardless of the presence of icing conditions…the aircraft was allowed to get way too slow (134 kts. CAS), in a clean configuration, at glide slope intercept, just prior to the outer marker.


I’m going to get flamed for this…BUT, when I have done de-ice training (ramp) the crew have a ref. point where they can look from the cockpit normally on the Capt. side to the leading edge…towards the tip and get a feel for what is going on…or and again someone will correct me…the bottom of the windscreen/ top of the nose. Yes/no?

SO in my round about way, on a Bus, the crew ought to be able to see by looking back over their shoulder. :question:


Not neccessarily true… There are at least two types of ILS/LOC antenna arrays. One type is the porcupine looking thing a few hundred feet from the runway end. This type may also serve as a LOC Back-Course. Another type is a vertical standard with individual LOC and GS antennas attached one above the other. This type is more modern, takes up less space, and is placed next to the runway. Because of it’s configuration it isn’t BC capable. Now the question is…Does KBUF have the old or the new in place.


yep – someone’s gotta work – u think it’s been fun trying to transcribe the atc tape? not to mention witnessing body removal on sunday [yes, i did]? though the troopers and firefighters and volunteers were great!!!

so thanks for the speeds…

another possibility now: the fdr readout re ias was 130 just before the fun began – i think compared to your speeds, i’ll let the facts speak for themselves

however, the 130 may – i said may – have come just as a gust or some turb was hitting – maybe why the f/o’s voice is shaky?

up to now, i’ve been asking – now why would a perfectly fine pilot override the stick pusher? ah — now i recall my windshear training – add pwr and nose up, right? [then the rest was — go around!!!]

re. cap mel

i’m on the side of the crew –

trust me – again, i’ll eat my hat – or can i just let u sail my boat for a day or two instead?..[even if u never sailed, if u can fly a dash 8 in ice like u say, sailing will be a no brainer, and lots more fun…]


if they find nothing re. aircraft system design or maintenance, then ntsb will rule pilot error

someone else here or elsewhere said icao does not allow wx as a cause – assuming … if the wx was that bad and crew didn’t at least get out of it, it p/e [pilot error]

ditto icing – other planes made it in no prob [including another colgan dash 8 20 min. later] – so if it’s icing, its pilot error per icao / ntsb

and i say…

it all starts with pilot fatigue due to over scheduling

i can hear it on the tape – and so did lots of others at the beginning of this thread

management schedules

therefore in this case – and most p/e cases – it’s m/e [management error]


pls don’t accuse me of attacking the deceased…let’s just make sure this doesn’t happen again – and if it’s ruled p/e, it will!


no – the only thing that matter is

could the loc deviation as reported have been one more contributing factor?

'member – no single cause = 50 dead

and if u ever flew – try to imagine:

lots going wrong [as i’ve detailed previously]

and now the loc is going ka-flooee on me?

so anyone who wants to listen to atc tapes after 1030 pm that nite and see if there was any other mention, have at it!!!

yes, i have a biz background also [incl. top mgt at united and air one; consulting to altair eastern – they were all bankruptcy at one time or another [chap 11] – so the quote from that is:

when a co. goes belly up…

who gets paid?

  1. govt
  2. attys
    then others, maybe

so…in an ntsb report – it’s kind of the opposite

who get blamed?

  1. pilot
  2. manufacturer
  3. G-d [poor G-d!]
  4. airline / management
  5. govt

ah— but if the ils 23 loc was flakey…

help me out here, will you??


captaindt= just making sure that you as a former pilot are on the pilots side. from some of the posts it didnt seem that way. now that we have that ironed out glad for your input.

As for the speeds I would be with you on extending the flaps at a higher speed. So crew fatigue sounds logical as well as captains low time in type. however a good copilot would I think have brought it to his attention with a suggestion of flaps. Distractions can be high in the airport / approach environment and things can be over looked. I know we all as pro pilots have made a few mistakes along the way and went holy crap right after.

I think I’m giong to wait and see what else comes from the FDR/CVR. the NTSB has seen the whole picture but they are still putting it together from the sounds of it. they have a program they can plug the info into and it gives them the whole flight right up to impact/FDR/CVR failure. It gives them a picture of the Attitude/airspeed/g’s/vert speed/power/gear/flaps/etc/etc/etc. I have seen these in recurrent training and some of them will raise the hair on your neck as well as back. Take for instance the DHL dc8 that crashed 10 or so years ago while testing the stall system. The company I flew the Dash 8 for used that accident for CRM training a few years in a row.


I think this aircraft was in upset mode before the LOC/glideslope came into view


:open_mouth: Uhhh… I was commenting about the placement and type of the ILS antenna…not whether it may be a factor in this incident.

However, just because DL saw fluctuations doesn’t mean that the ground base equipment experienced a fault. It very well could’ve been DL’s on-board receiver, as no one else reported any errors. You can’t tell me that you’ve never seen that before…


thank you – so i’m not crazy??

also – it could have been just a momentary drop due to a gust [in buffalo? the miami of north? — puh – leese!]

but if the stick pusher thought it was an incipient stall while crew interpreted it as windshear – and acted accordingly –

there’s one less house in clarence center…

btw – what would have been an optimal speed at that point [the facts, ma’am]



that’s why l’d like to know what the atc tapes after 1031 pm lcl that nite show…


no one reported windshear, it is something we report once we clean out our shorts. Also the NTSB has not said anything about hearing it on the CVR. The winds were steady from 260 at 15 gusting to 22 if i’m not mistaken, this usually is not the case for windshear. Winds verying from 230 to 290 at 15 to 22 would perk my ears up to a windshear may happen.