FlightAware Discussions

BREAKING NEWS - Dash 8 Crash in Buffalo


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 of the crash. 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.


According to Q400 pilots on another forum, the AP will not capture the GS before the localizer is captured in the Q400, making that memo inapplicable to the Q400. Not to mention the fact that 3407 came in from the left/south and the problem described in the memo affects things 5 degrees to the right/north of the localizer… non-factor imho.


Yes…according to the NTSB report provided 2/15.


Exactly!..which is the case of digital AP/AFCS systems. I don’t have the time or fortitude to go and look it up right now, but I believe that it’s a certification standard of Part 25 Transport Category Airplanes. Because by FAR, on an ILS approach, a pilot may not leave either the charted IAP altitude or last ATC assigned altitude to follow the GS unless established on the LOC inbound course.


I think when the dust settles and the NTSB makes its report we will hear about a pilot induced upset. Has anyone on the other forums or this one said pilot error? Has the NTSB had anything new to say in the last few days?



AZ is right on the money. There isn’t an a/c out there with modern avionics that will violently pitch up to the GS. My XL will occasionally climb up to the GS when it sees the GS needle "alive: but that’s an avionics issue. And by no means is it abrupt. If the crew is on speed and properly configured they’ll be a good 30kts above stall speed. This crew appears to have been slow for the configuration with ice on the a/c as well.

I don’t know when the AP disconnected but a pitch up of 30 is not something any AP that I know of is capable of. Maybe 5 or 10 if it sensed it was off ALT or GS, but 30 was NOT caused by the AP

No one here knows what happened. I’m not a Dash expert. BUT…the only thing that causes an a/c to pitch up like that is a major structural failure or a pilot input. In the XL it’s taught during stall recovery to hold the nose up. It has engines that are mounted above the thrust line and when they spool up they drive the nose down. If you lower the nose you will loss altitude. It very well maybe that in the Dash you lower the nose to recover (like a C172) that’s hard to do close the the ground, everything in your body is screaming PULL.

I don’t know what happened, and I’m not a betting man; but I believe that this is going to be a classic stall spin accident. Yes they had ice on the airframe and that did disrupt the airflow and most likely did increase the stall speed, but non the less it’s a classic stall spin. It’s been my mantra for 5000+ hours of instruction 4000 hrs in jets that teaching stall avoidance negates the need to teach stall recovery. And the FAA agrees.

Does the Dash have Honeywell or Collins avionics?


On the Q400 it’s actually Thales Avionics (formerly Sextant Avionique).



:laughing: I posted that same pic back on page 9 Rob…


It that case I bow out. I have no clue about that set of Avionics, but I can’t imagine they could produce a pitch up of that magnitude.


Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery Mark! :smiling_imp:


Lets just say on the dash 8 100/200/300 we would pitch to 10 degrees as well after we applied max power during a stall recovery. Or pitched to hold altitude if we were told to. Not sure about a spin but I am sure about an upset, anything that radical in pitch and roll is way beyond normal unless you are flying a Pitts!!


I know… I copied the link from your post. :wink:


I was just trying to help CiationDrvr er uh I mean* leardvr*.




Thanks bud!



That’s pronounced “Slowtation!”


I’m so feeling the love…


Mutations are the only jet where the bird strikes come from behind. :stuck_out_tongue:


Airlines, plane maker sued over crash near Buffalo


By CAROLYN THOMPSON, Associated Press Writer

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Relatives of a passenger killed when a commuter plane crashed into a house outside Buffalo have sued Continental Airlines and the flight’s operators, claiming the aircraft had inadequate deicing equipment and an improperly trained crew.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in federal court in Buffalo, appears to be the first litigation spawned by the Feb. 12 crash in Clarence. Continental Connection Flight 3407 plunged from the sky in icy weather, killing one occupant of the home and all 49 people aboard the plane.

Investigators have not determined a cause, but ice has been mentioned as a possibility, as well as the crew’s actions.

The family of crash victim Susan Wehle, 55, of Amherst, N.Y., alleges negligence and wrongful death and seeks unspecified damages.

The suit names Continental Airlines, based in Houston; Pinnacle Airlines of Memphis, Tenn., and a subsidiary operating the flight, Colgan Air of Manassas, Va.; and Bombardier Aerospace, based in Montreal, which made the Dash 8 Q400 aircraft.

Pinnacle, Continental and Bombardier declined Friday to comment on the lawsuit, filed by aviation disaster specialists Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman of Los Angeles.

Colgan Air previously defended its training programs and the pilot after investigators said they would look into whether the crew overreacted to a sensor indicating the plane, flying on autopilot, was slowing down dangerously.

On its Web site, Colgan calls the Q400 “a sophisticated, highly capable aircraft that is designed for cold-weather operations.”

Bombardier spokesman John Arnone, who wouldn’t comment directly on the litigation, noted that 230 of the Q400 planes are in use all over the world, including frequently cold areas such as Quebec and Norway.

But attorney Ronald Goldman of the firm that filed the lawsuit called the plane’s deicing system antiquated. The system includes strips of rubber-like material on the wings and tail that expand to break up ice, then contract and expand again to break up new ice.

“It’s a system that cannot guarantee the safety of passengers on a commercial flight,” Goldman said by phone Friday. “It should never be flown in these kinds of conditions.”

Goldman, also a pilot, faulted the crew for flying on autopilot, which he said concealed signs of trouble until it was too late.

The plane, which had taken off from Newark, N.J., crashed six miles from Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

The investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board is expected to take a year or more. Goldman said his firm would conduct its own investigation.

The suit seeks wrongful death damages for Wehle’s sons Jonah and Jacob Mink, as well as compensation for any pain and suffering by Wehle as the plane plummeted.

“For a measurable period of time, the aircraft flew out of control, violently moved in unexpected directions, dived, rolled, inverted and subjected the passengers and contents to unusual g-forces,” the lawsuit said.

Wehle, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, was a cantor at a synagogue and had performed in theater companies in New York and Chicago.