FlightAware Discussions

BREAKING NEWS - Dash 8 Crash in Buffalo


I got an NTSB email alerting me to a press release which I opened with great anticipation, only to find it had nothing whatsoever to do with this loss.

But your link is the report that I’ve been waiting for Rob, main wing stall, not tail stall.


Has it been determined if the plane was clean when it was at ~134kias? If I have my understanding right the NTSB said that they commanded flaps 15 and gear down around the time of the upset, but were they already at flaps 5 or flaps 10, or did they go straight from flaps 0 to flaps 15? What’s the standard flap deployment schedule? 15 degrees all at once or incremental?


I think that I implied this on page 9 by this comment:


More from page 9:

From the NTSB report issued Sunday:

One minute prior to the end of the recording the airplane was travelling at a calibrated airspeed of 134 knots, the gear was selected down, 20 seconds later the flaps were selected to 15 degrees. The flaps reached 10 degrees 20 seconds later (and 20 seconds prior to the end of the recording), at which point the upset started. The stick shaker and stick pusher activated (at which point the autopilot would be disconnect at the very latest), then the airplane pitched up to 31 degrees nose up, then pitched down to 45 degrees nose down and rolled left to a bank angle of 46 degrees, then right to a bank angle of 105 degrees (already 15 degrees upside down). The airplane experienced G-forces between 0.75 and 2G. The crew applied full thrust with the begin of the upset 20 seconds prior to the end of recording. The flaps never went beyond 10 degrees.


JHEM : thanks for that icing pic on the otter wing - omg! - that is amazing (and scary) Pic is really 1000000 words

So this is ony considered moderate icing ?- is this kinda average mod icing for most planes ? Can you generalize it or not ?
What would severe icing look like ?

So can an ac like otter or others handle flying with all this on wing ?
What or how good does anti-ice or de-ice equip do for so much ice ?
It looks like lots of runback on this wing, right ?
Thanks for posting it - amazing


twatter wing is a stubby, slow, stol wing

read my post above re. that issue

used to land them in bos with full load on the taxiway [stol runway then] between the two rwy 4’s – it was about 1500’ long and our mgw was 11,579 lbs [see what garbage remains in my head after 30 years?]

BUT i digress…

at this point the fact i can’t explain is that the cas right before the “fun” started was 134k…as i understand it, that’s about 30 k below “normal” for a clean q400 starting an approach. given that the 2 pilots were competent, trained, and experienced – even if not in the q400, experience in any a/c would tell them not to get that slow on a crappy nite – if ever.

**so – how did that happen? [134 k r/t 150 - 170] **

that’s the key, cuz if things had started at 150 stead of 134, it would have been one more snowy approach and landing here in buffalo, my bi-polar home town.

any thoughts?


None besides the fact that your characterization is in keeping with the facts released by the NTSB to date, the crew got behind the aircraft for an unknown reason and it departed controlled flight.

Why they allowed the aircraft to get so low and slow is going to be difficult, if at all possible, to ascertain.


I have a question for the person who posted the picture of the twin otter wing with ice on it, where did you get this picture and was this the one NASA used for ice testing?


I got it from a NASA website IIRC Mel and yes it was the Twotter used for extensive ice formation testing.


JHEM, thanks. I thought I recognized it but was not sure. After seeing NASA’s videos and pictures for years I usually sleep through that part of recurrent :laughing:


Do you sleep through the CRM training video as well? :wink:



yawn… is it time to go home yet!!! :laughing:


Sure did get quiet on this thread!


that’s cuz i had to go to work today –

all good things must end, right?

as far as sleeping thru things…?


Interesting story here for those who have not seen it yet:

cnn.com/2009/US/02/19/buffal … index.html

The Navigation alert regarding runway 23 issued by Southwest WEEKS before this accident seems to predict this crash:

“Pilots who are preparing to configure and land have the potential to experience abrupt pitch up, slow airspeed, and approach to stall if conditions present themselves in a certain manner.”


Interesting article Kevin, thanks for the link


Garbage, Garbage, Garbage…

Firstly, it would have nothing to do with this Colgan incident. The auto-pilot disconnected prior to the pitch-up.

Secondly, there isn’t an AP/AFCS (Auto-Pilot/Automatic Flight Control System) out there that will cause an aircraft to follow an abrupt signal change from a LOC/GS. Most AP’s won’t even begin to follow a GS intercept unless the LOC is captured.

The ignorrant media at its finest once again… In regards to the SWA notice…it was something that was released by its pilot group, not the company, and its true validity is in question.


I’ve been outta the loop on this lately… Last I heard, “the plane was heading AWAY from the airport…” Does that literally mean it was FLYING away from the airport at the time of the crash, or was the plane’s wreckage just oriented that way as a result of the onset of the loss of control (flat spin maybe)?

If indeed it was flying away from the airport, then the plane was not on approach to the airport. Wouldn’t the errant navigation signals mentioned in the article have a reverse effect on an aircraft flying the opposite direction from the approach? :confused:


The aircraft completed a 180 degree turn during the accident sequence. He was heading inbound on the approach, but during the pitching and rolling the aircraft reversed course.


If in fact the report (that SWA issued this navigation alert PRIOR to the accident) are found to be completely untrue then yes - I agree - the CNN report is GARBAGE. However if in fact this report is accurate – i.e. SWA actually did issue this alert PRIOR to the accident (as opposed to the pilot group issuing their alert AFTER the accident) then it would appear that this navigation alert is -at a minimum - a HUGE coincidence and may in fact point to the cause. Has it been established as FACT that the autopilot disconnected PRIOR to the the pitch-up? It would seem more likely that the stall induced by the sudden pitch-up initiated the stall warnings (shaker/pusher) which resulted in the disconnection of the autopilot.