FlightAware Discussions

BREAKING NEWS - Dash 8 Crash in Buffalo


The animation came up immediately for me, but the CVR transcript required several attempts.

As azav8r mentioned it’s probably due to traffic on the sites.


Yeah Satine… The “we’re down” comment is chilling and interesting too. Makes me wonder what happened or if the crash was survivable except for the fire. :cry:


AZ’s link worked for me right after he posted it, and it worked for me again just now. I’d been on the NTSB site several times searching for the report during the day, and did have problems with error pages from time to time. Reloading the page two or three times usually got results. As JHEM mentioned, I suspect heavy traffic on the site - lots of interest in this story.

I just tried the link to the video just now, and had to reload several times to get it. Too bad there’s no slide bar to rewind or fast-forward to desired segments of the video.

Amazing how quickly things turned to shit after the gear went down!

While they may not have maintained a sterile cockpit below 10,000, it looked like a normal flight until the gear went down, and then the airspeed bled-off rapidly. From the time the captain called for flaps five - before lowering the gear - the transcript seems to indicate that the pilots were all business from that point on.

Is 175 to 180 kts an unusually slow speed for for that type of plane before deploying flaps and gear?

You don’t really need to find out what’s going on
You don’t really want to know just how far it’s gone
Just leave well enough alone, keep your dirty laundry


Mostly lawyers I suspect…tragic


Not at all… For example, on my current swept wing jet ride we have to be at 180 KIAS or less to extend the gear. And that’s a limitation speed.

In the animation, watch the airspeed tape to the left of the artificial horizon. As the speed decreases you’ll see the red blocks rise from the bottom. The red block range is unsafe airspeed for configuration, and when the top red block rises to the airspeed index (131 KIAS) that’s when the stick shaker activates indicating an impending stall.


I, too, am following the hearings with much interest.

According to an article in today’s edition of The New York Times concerning yesterday’s hearing, the first officer dead-headed overnight aboard FedEx aircraft from KSEA-KMEM-KEWR before reporting to work at KEWR on the morning of the accident. Regardless of whether or not she was able to get any meaningful rest in the jump seat, I don’t think the FAA considers this to be “sleep” and I suspect that the NTSB’s final report will place renewed emphasis on crew rest requirements.


I agree that it would not be considered rest by the FAA, however the company may have had an entirely different view on it. Obviously if she was report at 08:00 for example then the time prior to that she should have been resting at a crash pad in KEWR and if she wasn’t doing so then it was on her.

However in my personal experience I have seen different FSDO’s operate as different countries all with different explanations to the same regs.

With a past employer we had a retired guy from a FSDO working as our compliance officer and he would routinely interpret regs to suit the company.


Hmmm, SWA be that company??? :stuck_out_tongue:


Bulls*#t…I’m sure many of the professional pilots here will back me up on this, but in my 20 years of flying, from my private checkride to my ATP, through 5 type ratings and 30 or so Part 135 checkrides, I have never failed, or gotten a pink slip, on any ride. This is not to toot my own horn, because I believe I’m an average pilot, just to make the point that multiple checkride failures are the exception, not the rule. To imply that it’s not unusual for someone who is employed as an airline pilot to have failed 5 rides is utter crap. If I was assigned to fly with someone like this I would refuse the trip.



Just to be clear I think that 5 failures is excessive, but for a person to never fail a single checkride from pvt on through ATP is a very successfull pilot. I would have to disagree that you would be an exception for never failing a checkride. Also the NTSB briefing stated he had failed his instrument ride, his commerical initial and his multi-engine and then two other rides prior to Colgan, not sure where. So I don’t think he failed any while employed with Colgan.


This does make me wonder, what are the pass fail rates of each checkride such as VFR, instrument, commercial, ME and the like with the FAA?

I messed up on my instrument, not because of my flying but because I was too far ahead of the plane.

On my partial panel. I put my inbound radial of 137 while flying outbound on a 317 heading, got reversed sensing and full deflected. DE felt bad as he said in the real world, a no gyro approach is what I would have done however test standards require partial panel self navigation. We knocked out the retake in less then 30 minutes.

Did failing the test make me less of a safe pilot. Probably not… After all, I was doing an approach that I most likely will never do in the real world.

So, while there are issues about the sterile cockpit procedures not being adhered to in this Colgan incident, from what I could tell, the approach itself was being executed properly and from what I was reading in the transcript, it did not appear the pilot was distracted enough not to safely complete the approach without the icing issues.

I do feel the testing standards do need to be brought up to today’s flying standards. After all, back course and ADF’s are being decommissioned and we still see people having to execute these type of approaches on IA checkrides at airports that have GPS approaches in my area.

Along with the testing standards, as it appears to me, also coming out is the inadequacy of training whether it be airlines or FAA. Other then what is coming out on this thread, the airline training I have no experience.

People actually got on me for feeling that a cursory check on using all essential equipment such as a transponder on a checkout ride was being excessive. Go figure… :confused:


WOW :open_mouth: what a read. I don’t think they had a clue until it was to late. They were just flying along chatting and then the ice got their attention.


No, I don’t think it makes you a less safe pilot. You just have to be well prepared before you take any ride. I personally failed my inital CFI. My rationalization would be that I took it in the toughest FSDO in the country because there are more flight schools there than any other area and the FAA is extremely tough on Flight Instructor canidates. However, the truth is that I probably wasn’t prepared enough and had passed everything else, so I thought I was ready. It was a lesson learned and going forward I would hope this Colgan crash would be a lesson for everyone on not only the sterile cockpit rules, but the PM’s responsibilites also.


Annual Statistics for Airmen Knowledge Testing
I think these statistics are for the written exam, but I think it gives some insight to overall pass/fail rates of each certifcation.


Very cool AND very, very interesting!

What’s the difference between sports pilot glider and private pilot glider I wonder??? Until seeing this, I thought glider was a glider was a glider :confused:


**updated 3 minutes ago - Kin of Buffalo crash victims want answers **

Margie Brandquist’s sister, Mary Pettys, died when Continental Connection Flight 3407 went down in icy conditions near Buffalo, New York, three months ago. Brandquist wants to know why the pilot – who had failed several flight tests – never received hands-on training with the emergency gear that was activated before the crash.

**Full story - Pilot screamed before crash **

I hate this, I really do. Now the families’ pain is raw and public
all over again with photos of them crying. The media is just ratcheting
their grief… no respect for privacy.


Was this the video you had seen?

cnn.com/video/#/video/us/200 … .crash.cnn


I’ll back you up on that

[quote=“gr8pilot"1”]Also the NTSB briefing stated he had failed his instrument ride, his commerical initial and his multi-engine and then two other rides prior to Colgan, not sure where. So I don’t think he failed any while employed with Colgan.

I thought I had read he graduated from flight school and this was his first job.


This pilot did not necessarily do the wrong thing by pulling back on the yoke VS. pushing forward. It depends on if the wing stalled first, or if the horizontal stabilizer stalled first. It sounds as though the wings, or one stalled first.

See, T-tail configured aircraft generally have a stick shaker and/or stick pusher to prevent the aircraft from entering a condition known as deep stall, where the disturbed air from the wings either cannot flow correctly over the horizontal stab, or the wing blocks out the air flow entirely to the horizontal stab, causing it to stall. Once this onsets, recovery is damn near impossible. There are other reasons, such as spanwise flow across the wing and the tendency for swept wing aircraft to roll severly during a stall, for an aircraft to have a stick pusher.

NASA did some studies a while back about tail stall in icing conditions, (see this video series, video.google.com/videoplay?docid … +tailplane) and found in certain situations the tail will stall before the wing, with a minimum amount of ice accrued. The proper technique their test pilots found for recovery was to go to first reduce power, pull hard back on the yoke to get the tail out of the stall, and then recover thrust up towards full power. They found that when the tail stalled, the yoke would actually slam forward, causing a severe pitch down movement.

This topic is one that can be complicated considering all the factors involved. I don’t know about this specific pilot’s training record, but he had to meet some standards with Colgan. NONE of the training I have done in the simulator of 4 turbojet powered aircraft (CE500 srs, CE650 srs, HS125 Srs, IAJet srs) of which I am type rated in has ever been to simulate a tailplane icing stall event.

This pilot may have been aware of tailplane icing through his training at Colgan and may have responded to what he thought was a tailplane ice stall event.

Any other professional pilots should be able to back me up on this.


I thought I had read he graduated from flight school and this was his first job.

I think I read in the transcript he was hired on Colgan with 625 hours. 250 Hours with another 121 outfit.