He absolutely did the “wrong thing”! And there’s was a smoking hole in the ground and lives lost to show for his, and her, failure.
The NTSB has stated that icing was not a factor. The CVR transcript doesn’t indicate any cognizance of a tail-plane icing control issue. And if the loss of control had been been the result of a tail-plane stall the AOA system would not have reached an angle that activated the shaker/pusher. A tail-plane stall causes the loss of horizontal stabilizer effectiveness and a resultant nose down pitching moment. A condition which the AOA system is not designed to measure. That’s why the proper recognition of a tail-plane stall is so critical, because normal stall warning and prevention measures so not address it.
This is a classic loss of situational awareness and aircraft control resulting from the failure to recognize and correct the loss of airspeed during configuration for landing. And because of the loss of SA the captain improperly reacted to the system safeguards designed to lead the way.
The whole event is deeply saddening. Niether crew member was paying attention to what the airplane was doing, and it was right in front of their faces. Ugh, it’s just maddening…on so many levels. All “I” can do is absorb this tragedy and do my best not to let something like this happen on my watch.