FlightAware Discussions

BREAKING NEWS - Dash 8 Crash in Buffalo


Could the report have meant to refer to the stick pusher rather than the stick shaker? As written the sentence doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.


It was something I had in the sim just about every year when I flew the 100/200 series. Again, stick shaker or pusher tells me wing stall where the controls going sloppy in my hands mean tail stall. Does that sound logical? When I fly in the icing conditions it is always in the back of my mind. Even with the auto pilot on you can see the control column moving more than normal when you get close to a tail stall in the 100/200




Thanks for the update there Kevin.


WOW! :open_mouth: Reminds me of the old joke…
Q: What do you call the guy that graduates at the bottom of his class from medical school?
A: Doctor


That doesn’t seem to me (non-pilot) to make any sense, what say you pilots, shouldn’t this be part of thier training?


Hell to the yes!! I can’t believe they got away without it in initial training.

As I stated in a previous post he pulled when he should have pushed, but that’s hard close the ground. As a training industry we need to do a better job teaching stall avoidance, in other words air speed control.


Something’s rotten in Denmark from that recent report. If the stick pusher was pitching the plane down, as it claims, and he ‘pulled back’ against it, that would have been the -proper- action to avert a tailplane stall.


But karl, this wasn’t a “tailplane stall”. The activation of the stick-pusher was due to the AOA system sensing the oncoming of an full aerodynamic (main wing) stall. And folks in that airplane, had the crew been paying attention to the decaying airspeed, all that was required to recover was a judicious application of power. The activation of the stick-pusher is the clue to an impending wing stall. The typical recovery is to add power and to maintain an attitude that arrests any loss of altitude.

And I’m with leardvr. In every standard and transport category airplane that I’ve flown…during stall series training the event is taken to the activation of the stick shaker or pusher, in airplanes that are so equipped, for impending stall recognition and recovery.


We pilots on the board should refrain from making assumptions based on the report of a, well…reporter, and should instead “hold short” until NTSB releases their report.
Without all the facts or even a glance at the wreckage there’s no way to tell what really happened. Reporters with non-flying news outlets are notoriously bad when it comes to reporting on aviation incidents and often piece together “info” in order to sell copy instead of performing as true journalists. Take the 1st para for instance:

“The captain of a commuter plane that crashed Feb. 12 near Buffalo, N.Y., had flunked numerous flight tests during his career and was never adequately taught how to respond to the emergency that led to the airplane’s fatal descent, according to people close to the investigation.”

How’s it end? With, “according to people close to the investigation.” Who? The board chair/president? The coffee boy? The van driver? C’mon…NTSB is extremely thorough…give me “black letter” report over “people close to the investigation” any day…


What assumptions? All I see is some speculative discussion. I would think if he failed some check rides that would be a confirmable fact. These after all are discussion forums, not a court room.


Yes, I absolutely agree! But 90% of the chatter I’ve seen here and elsewhere is speculation that the problem WAS a tailplane stall. That’s what has me confused…is it possible that the pilot was attempting to recover from what he BELIEVED was a tp stall and in doing so allowed the wing to do it? I’m aware that a wing can stall at virtually any airspeed…the AOA is the only real factor.

I have few hours in T-tail airplanes and so am not even close to an expert…but I am an engineer and find myself wondering why they don’t have stall warnings on the T tails. It’s a piece of aluminum & a $20 microswitch.

edit: I certainly grasp that stick shakers and pushers are employed because of “impending” stall…after all, they’d be pretty worthless if they activated afterward.


Running the risk of veering too far off topic, I will keep my response to “deef1999” brief.

Indeed, I will never delude myself into thinking this board will ever serve as a court of law…that would certainly drain the fun out of things here.

However, since the board is read by many non-pilots I would hate for pilots to lend credence to the stories of reporters through any “speculative discussion” reagrding this tragedy. If you took my comment as a rebuke, I assure you that was my intent. On the contrary, it was my intent to remind pilots of the fine line we walk when it comes to commentary after incidents like this and how often, non-pilots will take our “speculative discussion” as immutable truth. It is in this light, I ask we take care in citing an article as if it were true without a preponderence of the facts.

Beleive me, as someone who has served as an accident briefer few things are more confounding to the fidelity of the record than assumptions or speculations made prior to the release of the report. Would think we owe the crew a caveat along those lines when speaking about the incident.

However, I appreciate your comment “deef,” counter points are what keep board discussion alive!



The part that gets me is that CBS news reported he had failed 5 checkrides in his career. Were those from private pilot on up? Were they his PIC check with colgan? Somewhere along the line from the beggining of learning to fly everyone fails a checkride. They also heavily implied he wasn’t qualified to fly the aircraft “because he only had 100 hours in type, which is below industry standards”. Yes, it is below industry standards, but if he passed all his rides in the type then he is qualified.


And now CBS has rolled out “Scary Mary” Schiavo…


Actually IMHO, if a person cites an article, that is a good thing. At least then, one can make their own determination on credibility, not only on the article, but the person making an opinion.

If the person believes it’s true, then so be it as they are entitled to their opinion. At least they did provide a source for what they believe. It’s for the readership (AKA reporter) to descern what is good or not. And of course, human nature will bring in varying opinions.

Personally, I much rather see somebody cite a source then just say “because I say so”.



The tail on the Q400 can be trimmed up or down effectively changing it’s angle of attack. Therefore it would be difficult to have a a free floating AOA indicator like you do with the main wing (fixed).




I heard on WTOP radio he failed his private, commercial, a multiengine (maybe multiengine-instrument), and a couple of others (they rattled them off too quickly, but I think they were competency checks during employment - perhaps type-rating checks - but DON’T QUOTE ME on those, I could be wrong). I just tried listening again, but now they’re focusing on the CVR transcripts.

Found THIS

The board also released documents showing that safety investigators were told by one training instructor that Renslow “was slow learning” the Dash 8 at the start but his abilities “picked up at the end.” The training instructor said Renslow struggled to learn the Dash 8’s flight management system, a critical computer, and had difficulty learning switch positions which were opposite from the throws he had been used to on another aircraft. This instructor described the captain’s decision-making abilities as very good.

A check airman who flew with the captain in December said he flew very well and had good skills, and while he was still learning the flight management system, it was a normal progression.


From the local TPA 24hr news station:

baynews9.com/content/36/2009 … s+training