Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Rumours & News
Reload this Page >

Continental TurboProp crash inbound for Buffalo

Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

Continental TurboProp crash inbound for Buffalo

Old 19th Feb 2009, 16:20
  #721 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Found in Toronto
Posts: 615
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In my opinion, this accident has nothing to do with icing or the ILS glide slope. The aircraft crashed well outside the outer marker. It stalled while in level flight at 2300' ASL. It was below the glideslope, or just about to intercept the glideslope. That is the normal time to lower the gear and landing flaps.

NTSB sources have said the pilot applied nose up elevator in response to the stall warning and stick pusher. Despite the application of power, the aircraft still stalled. It looks to me like either a very bad stall recovery, or a very bad attempt a go-around.

3407 Pilot Error Suspected: WSJ Report


February 18, 2009

3407 Pilot Error Suspected: Wall Street Journal Report

By Mary Grady, Contributing Editor

Investigators studying last week's fatal crash of a Continental Connection

Dash 8 Q400 in Buffalo, N.Y., now have found evidence that pilot inputs to the controls may have contributed to the airplane's stall, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing sources close to the investigation. The flight data recorders show that the flight was routine until roughly a minute before impact, when the crew lowered the landing gear and extended the flaps, according to the WSJ sources. Almost immediately, the airspeed bled off and the stick-shaker activated, followed by a stick-pusher that automatically lowered the nose. It appears the captain pulled back on the stick with enough force to overpower the pusher and added power, causing a 31-degree pitch-up. The wings immediately stalled, and the airplane whipped to the left, then entered a steep right turn. The pilots continued to fight with the controls, and they were starting to recover when they "ran out of altitude," according to the WSJ source. NTSB member Steven Chealander, speaking to The New York Times earlier this week, urged "caution about jumping to conclusions that it might be an icing incident."
Lost in Saigon is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2009, 16:20
  #722 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 52
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
From yesterday Flybe reassures public after New York air crash - Isle of Man Today

A Flybe spokesman told iomtoday: 'Flybe has been informed by Bombardier, the manufacturer of the Dash 8 Q400 aircraft, that a preliminary investigation – conducted by the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and supported by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Transport Canada – does not indicate that the above accident was as a result of any aircraft design deficiencies.
Jackdaw is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2009, 17:10
  #723 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 22
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What if the flight crew suspected tail plane icing - could the reduced airspeed have been a deliberate, but badly thought out, plan to reduce the chances of tail plane stall?

If the PF was "tail plane stall minded" it might explain a reluctance to increase the airspeed and the apparent wrong response to the stick shaker/pusher activation. The tail plane stall video emphasizes the sudden decrease in pitch, forcing forward of the control column, and vibration of the column - similar to what happens when the stall protection system kicks in, *but* if the PF is anticipating these things as signs of a tail plane stall surely they are more likely to haul back on that control column and try not to let the AS build, with dire consequences. Tail plane stall recovery training emphasizes the need to react fast, so would this additional pressure have reduced the PFs ability to diagnose the type of stall correctly?

Just my thoughts as an SEP pilot who wonders was going on to distract two grown up pilots from an evolving wing stall, if that is indeed what happened.

CC
Captain Calamity is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2009, 17:13
  #724 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I totally agree with DHC6Tropics, and me too since the begining my feeling was crew error.

I never flown the 400, but I must have over 11k hours on the 100 and 300.

On the 100/300 with idle power and no gear, the gear horn will sound if speed drops to 130 or below. So after a level-off, if one forgets to add power, the horn will wake him up at 130kts, wich on the 100/300 is above or near Vref for most weights and a safe margin above Vs. Is there a similar warning in the 400? (Of course with the gear down the horn will not sound.)

On the 100/300 the gear is always lowered before the flaps, since while decelerating the gear speed is reached before or at the same time as the flap speed (depending on the diffferent 100 and 300 versions).

Also the gear speed is quite low (158kts on the 100), and since ATC often wants us to keep speed on final (like 170 to the marker) we often configure at the last minute, dropping the gear as soon as we decelerate to 158kts, to slow us down faster. There is not point in lowering flaps first, even if it is sometimes possible (on a 311 series the flap 5 speed and the gear speed are the same, 163kts. In the 100 and the 301, the gear speed is always higher than the flap speed, so we always drop the gear first to create drag) Then we go flap 15. We always go directly from 0 to 15. And the flap travel from 0 to 15 is quite slow (15 to 35 is much faster).

This is all on the 100/300 series, but some companies may have procedures designed to cover all the different series (even if they only operate one serie) and first drop the gear, than the flaps from 0 to 15 no matter if they fly the 100, 300 or 400.
CarlQB is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2009, 17:17
  #725 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: flyover country USA
Age: 82
Posts: 4,579
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Why is it that the NTSB briefer on the Q400 accident sounds like he actually has worked in aviation, whereas the Cactus 1549 NTSB briefer did not?

Maybe it's just me...
barit1 is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2009, 17:24
  #726 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: USA
Posts: 195
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well that's because he HAS worked in aviation!

HONORABLE STEVEN R. CHEALANDER
MEMBER
Steven R. Chealander was sworn in as the 38th Member of the National Transportation Safety Board of the National Transportation Safety Board on January 3, 2007.

Mr. Chealander brings a wealth of both civilian and military aviation experience to the NTSB. Prior to joining the Board, he was with American Airlines, serving since 1991 as a pilot and Captain qualified on the DC-10, B-737, MD-80, and F-100 aircraft, and as a Chief Pilot in Los Angeles. At American, he also was a flight safety manager, performing safety and compliance audits and participating in investigations, and was most recently the Manager of Flight Operations Efficiency.

From 1964 to 1991, Mr. Chealander served in the U.S. Air Force, with tours of duty in Vietnam and Spain. An F-4 pilot and instructor pilot, and then a USAF Aggressor Pilot, Mr. Chealander was selected in 1981 to be a member of the USAF Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds. He flew with the team until 1985, when he was assigned as a staff officer at Tactical Air Command Headquarters at Langley AFB, VA.

In 1986, Mr. Chealander was selected as Military Aide to President Ronald Reagan. In this capacity, he performed a variety of ceremonial and emergency preparedness duties, including custody of the President’s emergency briefcase, “the football.”

Subsequently, Mr. Chealander commanded an F-5 tactical fighter squadron at Williams AFB, AZ (1988-89), an F-16 squadron at Luke AFB, AZ (1989-91), and then was appointed Assistant Deputy Commander for Operations for the F-16 tactical fighter wing at Luke AFB. He retired from the Air Force in 1991 with the rank of Lt. Colonel.

Mr. Chealander received a B.S. degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California and did graduate studies at the University of Utah. He is married and the father of two daughters.

Mr. Chealander's term as a Member expired on December 31, 2007. President Bush's nomination of Member Chealander to a full five-year term is pending before the Senate.
Oilhead is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2009, 17:51
  #727 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Rockytop, Tennessee, USA
Posts: 5,898
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Why is it that the NTSB briefer on the Q400 accident sounds like he actually has worked in aviation, whereas the Cactus 1549 NTSB briefer did not?
And, here is Kitty Higgins' official bio:

HONORABLE KATHRYN O'LEARY HIGGINS
MEMBER

Kathryn O’Leary Higgins was sworn in as the 36th Member of the National Transportation Safety Board on January 3, 2006.

Ms. Higgins brings 36 years of experience in the public and private sectors to her new appointment. She was most recently employed as President and CEO of TATC Consulting and was Vice President for Public Policy at the National Trust for Historic Preservation from May 1999 to January 2004.

Member Higgins served as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor (July 1997-May 1999), Acting Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, and Vice Chair of the Presidential Commission on U.S. Coast Guard Roles and Missions.

Ms. Higgins served in the White House (February 1995 – July 1997) as Assistant to the President and Secretary to the Cabinet. In that capacity she worked closely with the NTSB, DOT, FAA, and Coast Guard on a number of matters, including the 1996 ValuJet 597 and TWA 800 accidents, formulation and implementation of hazardous materials regulations, increasing inspector staffing, FAA reauthorization, and creation of the NTSB Office of Family Assistance. She was awarded distinguished service medals by the FAA and Coast Guard for her work.

Ms. Higgins served as Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Labor (January 1993-February 1995), Chief of Staff to Congressman Sander Levin (January 1986 – January 1993), and Senior Legislative Associate and Minority Staff Director with the U.S. Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee (January 1981 –January 1986).

Member Higgins was with the White House Domestic Policy Council, serving as Assistant Director for Employment Policy (May 1978 –January 1981). She began her career in 1969 as a Manpower Specialist with the Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor.

Ms. Higgins came to Washington from Yankton, South Dakota and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nebraska. She was married to the late William J. Higgins and is the mother of two sons, Liam and Kevan.

Ms. Higgins’ term expires December 31, 2009.
Biography of Honorable Kathryn O'Leary Higgins, NTSB Board Member

I realize that the NTSB investigates more than plane crashes but it really was refreshing to hear Steve Chealander explain nuances of terminology and procedure to the media. I'm sure many of us got to listen to the actual press conferences posted online rather than wade through derivative articles written by a non-pilot.
Airbubba is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2009, 19:16
  #728 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Dallas, TX USA
Posts: 739
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Given the dossiers of these two lead investigators, which would you assign to the US Airways-Hudson accident, and which would you assign to the Colgan-Buffalo accident?
Flight Safety is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2009, 19:26
  #729 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Somewhere Over America
Posts: 192
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
PlaneBuzz: Readers Write In on Continental Express Crash: Pilot Actions Could Have Been Warranted

PlaneBuzz

Readers Write In on Continental Express Crash: Pilot Actions Could Have Been Warranted

Thanks for your feedback on the news concerning Southwest's move into Boston. I'll strip off names and summarize comments I've received via email later today.

But first -- let's talk about what has been going on of late concerning the NTSB and their investigation concerning the actions of the pilot in the crash of Pinnacle/Colgan/Continental Express Flight 3407 last week.

If you are like me, you probably did a double take when you read the the Wall Street Journal article yesterday in which the paper reported that "evidence suggests pilot error" as the likely cause of the crash. The New York Times then ran with a story that said that the "crew may have overreacted" after the auto pilot system pointed the plane's nose down to generate speed. No sources were named in either paper's reports.

While officially the NTSB has not publicly made such comments, the assumption would have to be made that someone on the inside of the investigation was feeding both news sources.

Enter a number of our pilot readers.

Here is a "Read Before Fly" announcement that was sent to Southwest Airlines' pilots yesterday. Sound familiar?

Last night more than one pilot sent me a copy. And they weren't all Southwest pilots. Apparently the notice was posted on the PPRUNE site, or at least that is what one American Airlines' pilot wrote me.

___________

Safety Alert 2009-01 - February 18, 2009


There is a potentially significant hazard concerning the ILS to runway 23 in BUF.

Information has been received indicating it is possible to obtain a significant nose pitch up, in some cases as much as 30 degrees, if the glide slope is allowed to capture before established on centerline. Pilots who are preparing to configure and land have the potential to experience abrupt pitch up, slow airspeed, and approach to stall if conditions present themselves in a certain manner.

This effect is the result of an earthen obstruction close enough to the ILS to affect the integrity of the glide slope signal. This has resulted in the issuance of an advisory given on ATIS which states that "the ILS Glide Slope for runway 23 is unusable beyond 5 degrees right of course." When attempting to intercept the runway 23 ILS from right traffic, the ILS glide slope indication may read full deflection down. Just prior to intercept it may then move up in such as manner as to enable approach mode to capture in such a way as to result in a nose up pitch and loss of airspeed. Southwest Airlines has issued a notice reading: "Until further notice, when executing the KBUF ILS/LOC Runway 23, DO NOT select Approach Mode until established on the localizer inbound."

This issue is being addressed on several levels in an attempt to address procedures, facilities, and communication regarding this matter. If you experience any issues related to this, please file an ASAP form and or call SWAPA Safety at SWAPA toll free 800-969-7972.
____________


Interesting, eh? Especially because if this is the case, then the pilot could have been doing exactly what he was supposed to have been doing. He was trying to save the aircraft, not stall it. My point in all of this is that no one involved with the NTSB investigation should be "leaking" information to news sources such as that which was obviously leaked for publication in both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal Wednesday. Especially given this advisory that was just issued to Southwest Airlines' pilots.

Posted by Holly on February 19, 2009 11:49 AM | Permalink
Halfnut is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2009, 19:40
  #730 (permalink)  
PJ2
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: BC
Age: 76
Posts: 2,484
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Given the dossiers of these two lead investigators, which would you assign to the US Airways-Hudson accident, and which would you assign to the Colgan-Buffalo accident?
Yep...exactly.
PJ2 is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2009, 19:41
  #731 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York
Posts: 875
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"Given the dossiers of these two lead investigators, which would you assign to the US Airways-Hudson accident, and which would you assign to the Colgan-Buffalo accident? "

Well, since the Hudson accident had a clear cause, straightforward outcome and only one moderate injury, while the Buffalo crash was horrific, caused 49 fatalities and remains unsolved, I'd say they assigned exactly the right person to each.
stepwilk is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2009, 19:49
  #732 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Found in Toronto
Posts: 615
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
3407 WAS on the centerline. They were just outside the outer marker. The above Union "Safety Alert " has nothing to do with this accident.

Here is what a source at Bombardier has revealed about this accident:


-This accident was a garden-variety stall-spin accident that had nothing to do with airframe icing.

-The aircraft was on autopilot approaching Rwy 23 at KBUF.

-Flap 5 was selected at 135 kts. (The initial flaps are available at 200kts. Gear can be selected at 200 kts).

-Approaching the FAF, flap 15 and landing gear were selected and speed quickly decayed to 105 kts. (there is no autothrust system)

-Due to the low speed in this configuration, the aircraft pitch angle now became abnormally high at 6 degrees n/u

-Selection of airframe de-ice to "on" programs low speed warnings, stick-shaker to be moved up by approx 20 kts.

-At the approximate interval when gear was selected but not yet down, the stall warning and stick shaker and stick pusher were activated. (this disconnects the autopilot)

-Due to the low speed and configuration, the longitudinal trim had run to a large amount of nose-up trim.

-The aircraft rolled to the left and pitched down significantly.

-The pilot applied full power (approximately 10,000 hp) and pulled up.

-The nose pitched up to 31 degrees (possibly due to the abnormal amount of nose-up trim) and the acft rolled to the right.

-The aircraft entered a secondary stall and began to spin.
Lost in Saigon is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2009, 20:03
  #733 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: the balmy beautiful south
Posts: 38
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I find it interesting how quickly everyone's mind immediately went to icing and tail-stalls. I think this is partly due to the NTSB publicly pushing their little pet-projects and internal agendas since the board doesn't have any clout when it comes to regulations. (Look at Jim Hall and his call to ground all turbo-props....absolutely lidicrous!) The FAA seems to have a much better grip on reality and it's a good thing that they are in charge.

We have learned so much about icing in the past few decades and I think there is perhaps a little too much emphasis put on the significance of things like tail-stalls in modern aircraft. I don't have a direct source, but I've heard that Bombardier has basically said that the Dash-8 is not susceptable to icing induced tail-stalls.

More training focus should be shifted to ensuring that external distractions don't get in the way of flying the aircraft. Perhaps there are also some safety features that can be built into non-autothrottle aircraft that can help to identify and prevent speed decay situations.
DHC6tropics is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2009, 20:46
  #734 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: above it all
Posts: 367
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This part in the latest WSJ article is puzzling:

The safety board, among other issues, is looking into why Colgan's training programs apparently stop short of allowing pilots in simulators to feel the stick-pusher activate, according to people familiar with the issue. The device is intended to automatically prevent the plane from going into a stall by pointing the nose down to regain speed. Safety experts worry that unless pilots understand and feel what happens when the stick-pusher goes into action in a simulator, they may not react properly when it activates during an in-flight emergency.
Crash Probe Turns to Pilot Training - WSJ.com

I thought simulator training was supposed to include every possible emergency situation?
Finn47 is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2009, 20:57
  #735 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: MI
Posts: 570
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Why do people read the WSJ and New Your Times to get information on an aircraft accidnet?? WAIT for the Official NTSB Report. It just MIGHT contain the info you're looking for. There's an outside chance it won't (it's been done a couple of times), but more likely you'll get factual information there and not out of the print media.
DC-ATE is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2009, 21:05
  #736 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Boston
Age: 73
Posts: 41
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Forgive me if this has already been posted, but I haven't figured out to search a thread with so many posts




Airline issued navigation alert to pilots before Buffalo crash






By Drew Griffin and Steve Turnham
CNN




(CNN) -- Southwest Airlines warned its pilots just weeks before the crash of a commuter flight in Buffalo about safety issues with so-called instrument approaches at the airport. The warning concerned runway 23, the same runway the crashed commuter plane was lined up to use.
Instrument approaches are those in which pilots use cockpit displays to line up their aircraft with the runway when visibility is low.
The alert, reissued Wednesday by the airline's pilot association, warned Southwest pilots there was a "potentially significant hazard" concerning the instrument landing system's glide slope guidance signal for runway 23.
The airline advised, "Pilots who are preparing to configure and land have the potential to experience abrupt pitch up, slow airspeed, and approach to stall if conditions present themselves in a certain manner."
Southwest Airlines spokesperson Linda Rutherford said an earthen dam at the end of the runway was interfering with the signal being sent to inbound flights. Rutherford would not confirm if any of Southwest's recent flights into Buffalo experienced problems on approach.
"We often put out alerts on obstructions to a navigation aid," Rutherford told CNN. She also pointed out, though landing on the same runway, Southwest Airlines flights approach runway 23 from the north, turning right, while the crashed Colgan Air flight was approaching from the south turning left. Rutherford called that distinction important.
The National Transportation Safety Board told CNN the agency was "aware" of the Southwest Airlines alert, but would not comment further. The Federal Aviation Administration is looking into the matter.
The alert from Southwest Airlines advises pilots that the problem could cause the planes navigational system to interpret data "in such a way as to result in a nose-up pitch and loss of airspeed."
Flight data recorders obtained by the NTSB of the crashed Colgan air flight 3407 show during its approach to runway 23, the twin turbo prop Dash-8 pitched up 31 degrees before going into a stall due to lack of airspeed.
Southwest Airlines Pilot Association told its pilots the "issue is being addressed on several levels in an attempt to address procedures, facilities, and communication regarding this matter." the alert advises any pilots experience trouble to contact the association's safety office.
News Shooter is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2009, 21:07
  #737 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: the balmy beautiful south
Posts: 38
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
News Shooter: Yes, already posted twice in the last two pages of this thread and already debunked with a fair amount of certainty as a non-factor in this accident
DHC6tropics is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2009, 21:16
  #738 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Boston
Age: 73
Posts: 41
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Right sorry about that
News Shooter is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2009, 21:25
  #739 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Dallas, TX USA
Posts: 739
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Fascinating how the interested parties are responding:

Pilot's Union - It's a tech fault, so not our pilots...
Manufacturer - No design flaw with our safe aircraft...
NTSB (maybe) - We've been discussing icing for years...

Of course, nobody knows the cause(s) with any certaintly, at this point in the investigation.
Flight Safety is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2009, 21:26
  #740 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: flyover country USA
Age: 82
Posts: 4,579
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Pprune's search function is remarkably good, once you learn to use it. No need to embarass yourself by posting duplicate information, when you can search for a key phrase within a thread BEFORE making a re-post.

Fascinating how the interested parties are responding:
It used to be fascinating 50 years ago, but no more. I think I hear an echo in here...
barit1 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.