Colgan’s Dec. 7 report to the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said last February’s crash was probably caused by pilots’ “loss of situational awareness,” failure to follow the training and procedures, but pointed out contributing factors:
- the cockpit warning system failed to adequately advise pilots when the speed is set below the calculated stall warning speed.
- the lack of an adequate warning in the turboprop’s flight and operating manual regarding the effect of setting a non-ice reference speed during approach and landing
- the crew’s failure to follow procedures regarding the proper response to a “stick shaker”
- the crew’s failure to follow procedures regarding “non-pertinent conversation” by the flight crew during the descent and approach.
Although Bombardier is withholding comment until the NTSB completes its investigation, a spokesman pointed out that the existing avionics are reliable and certified; and there are currently no requirements for systems to report abnormally low air speed.
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What: Continental Airlines Flight 3407, Bombardier Q400 turboprop operated by regional carrier Colgan Air en route from Newark, New Jersey to Buffalo Niagara International Airport
Where: Clarence Center, New York.
When: Thursday Feb 12 struck a house at 10: 10 pm. Two homes were affected.
Who: 44 passengers and four crew members, 1 off-duty pilot, 1 person on the ground, all fatalities. The passenger manifest has not officially been released.
Why: The New Jersey-to-Buffalo flight was cleared to land on a runway pointing to the southwest. But the plane crashed with its nose pointed to the northeast. Seconds after two automatic warnings to the pilots that the plane was not moving fast enough to stay aloft, the twin turboprop aircraft went through a “severe pitch and roll” after positioning its flaps for a landing. It did not dive into the house, as initially thought, but landed flat on the house. Icing is emerging as the possible cause for why flight 3047 fell from the sky. The flight data recorder has been collected and is currently being examined.
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