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 6th Apr 2009, 15:04
  #981 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 100
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Families of victims object to carrier and aircraft manufacturer participation in NTSB investigation. Link here.
kappa is offline  
Old 6th Apr 2009, 17:29
  #982 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: London UK
Posts: 7,610
Likes: 0
Received 13 Likes on 11 Posts
Originally Posted by kappa
Families of victims object to carrier and aircraft manufacturer participation in NTSB investigation.
That's because the "families" are intending (the article states) to sue the carrier and manufacturer, and it suits their cause to upset the investigation, despite the fact that these two organisations have by far the greatest detailed understanding of the technicalities.

But technicalities do not concern the lawyers concerned. Their interest is in winning. And I put "families" in quotes because they didn't decide to issue this statement, their lawyers decided to, wrote it, and told the families to say it knowing it would be lapped up by the press as the families' own thoughts.

The lawyers cannot believe the NTSB are professional enough to ask their own very penetrating questions to get to the bottom of things - incidentally, far more effectively than any lawyer in court. And for a much smaller cost.
WHBM is offline  
Old 6th Apr 2009, 18:24
  #983 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Florida
Posts: 4,569
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
NTSB Party System

The only thing that matters is that the members bring expertise to the investigation and contribute (ask pertinent questions and answer questions).

The other world investigative agencies also seek the same level of participation in that regard by interested parties. Beyond that there are no doubt differences in operandi.

The thing that most prevents "any interested party" to the investigation is the immediate availability of quailfied investigators following an accident. Simply having an interest is not qualifications and after all there is only so much room for multiple experts in the field.

I was aware that external interest on TWA800, as an example, was handled in a reasonbly timely fashion by petitioning through the Washington NTSB Headquarters
lomapaseo is offline  
Old 6th Apr 2009, 18:55
  #984 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Portland, OR USA
Posts: 50
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Q400 tailplane stall

I fly Q400s, and we are being told by our company representatives, who have been in close contact with Colgan reps., as well as the NTSB, that the Q400 is NOT susceptible, to tailplane stall. We are emphatically instructed to disregard considerations of tailplane stall in the future, and have even had references to that phenomenon removed from our manuals following the Colgan accident.

The reasons for this change are several. Firstly, the Q400 has a t-tail, specifically designed to remove most of the influence of flap extension on tailplane AOA. Secondly, the tailplane airfoil is supposedly designed to avoid ice accumulation to the extent required to separate the airflow. Thirdly, the tailplane de-icing system is designed in 4 segments, which provides some redundancy, making a failure of the system catastrophic enough to allow excessive ice accumulation very unlikely. Again, these are things we have been told, not necessarily my opinions.

Also, we were told that the stickshaker in this accident activated at 20-30 KIAS above aerodynamic wing stall (due to the 'Ref Speeds' switch being selected to 'INCR,' which was proper procedure in this instance).

Hope this helps.
Fokker28 is offline  
Old 6th Apr 2009, 21:07
  #985 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: San Jose
Posts: 727
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sad to say, it's the lawyers that will end up doing the most to prevent the truth from coming out. When it's a no-blame culture and everyone wants to find out what happened to prevent it from happening again, there's every incentive to be honest. When the ambulance-chasers get involved, everyone is defensive and may be reluctant to reveal the important information lest it open them to a lawsuit.

I would say the legal profession, especially in the US but increasingly elsewhere as well, is one of the bigger threats to safety of flight.
llondel is offline  
Old 7th Apr 2009, 13:27
  #986 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Germany
Age: 76
Posts: 1,561
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Two diffferent agendas...

Crash investigators are there to uncover the truth of what happened without regard to finding fault per se and their goal is to advance safety.

Lawyers are there to win cases any way that they can (in the States we use an "adversary system" in court, with the two sides fighting it out in front of the judge and the jury) when the truth of what happened may well go ignored or perverted. The only advance to safety is the very dodgy premise that a multi-million dollar judgment against a manufacturer "sends a message" that they have to work harder to develop a crash-proof airframe.

For instance, there was a Beech Bonanza accident involving pilot error, according to the NTSB. It looked for all the world as if the pilot had simply gone below the MDA on an approach and done a CFIT on very short final.

The lawyer for the dead pilot's family managed to convince a jury that there was something wrong with the aircraft that caused the crash.

The neat thing was that, post-crash, there wasn't any way to say whether that was so by looking at the burnt wreckage. Of course there was a remote possibility that the aircraft was on fire on final for no obvious reason, just one that went disregarded by the NTSB! If you can manage to get your case in front of a jury of twelve ignoramuses then all bets are off. Here it seems to have started before we even get to court at all.
chuks is offline  
Old 7th Apr 2009, 18:12
  #987 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: alameda
Posts: 1,053
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The sad fact is that a plane crashed and fifty people were killed. To those poor people and their families the cause doesn't matter.

And while money won't bring those people back, it may help with the requirements of life for the families of the victims.

And that is where the lawyers come in. so if colgan, bombardier, or someone else has to pay, I HOPE THEY DO.
protectthehornet is offline  
Old 7th Apr 2009, 23:33
  #988 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Here and there
Posts: 3,078
Received 14 Likes on 11 Posts
Well, that's what life insurance is for. Unless someone has been negligent in some way, no one should be paying the families anything other than their own insurance companies.
AerocatS2A is online now  
Old 8th Apr 2009, 16:23
  #989 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: SoCalif
Posts: 896
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Some people are not motivated by seeing to the good and wellbeing of others. Fear of lawsuits usually gets their attention, however. But like anything, it can be overdone.

Graybeard is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2009, 20:51
  #990 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: alameda
Posts: 1,053
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

if someone wasn't negligent, that plane wouldn't have crashed. planes don't crash in and of themselves, perhaps one crash in a thousand is truly ''an act of God"...planes crash because men are irresolute, reckless or careless.

its that simple.
protectthehornet is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2009, 00:07
  #991 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Here and there
Posts: 3,078
Received 14 Likes on 11 Posts
Often it is the flight crew who are ultimately responsible. Are you suggesting that the crew's families should be sued for compensation in those cases? No point really, as they wouldn't have enough money, no, far better to go after the organisation/s who have lots of money, even if they didn't directly cause the accident. The tendency to look for the one who can afford a big payout and find a way to blame them is ugly. Just because your spouse was killed does NOT mean you are suddenly entitled to lots of money, if you want money then make sure you've got life insurance.

I recognise there are times when the airline or manufacturer has deliberately done things that they know will increase risk or that don't comply with regulations and sometimes they should be held responsible. I just think people are too quick to find someone to blame, and the lawyers are too quick to facilitate it.

P.S. I don't expect to change your mind or anything, I'm happy to disagree, just clarifying my position on the matter.

Last edited by AerocatS2A; 9th Apr 2009 at 01:57.
AerocatS2A is online now  
Old 9th Apr 2009, 02:37
  #992 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: An Island Province
Posts: 1,252
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In liberal societies, “some people are to blame, others are responsible”. Legal systems determine whom, if anyone fits these categories and the differences between them.
In aviation, we strive to avoid blame, which is established in hindsight and focuses on individual failure; this does little to advance our safety objectives.
However, responsibility can be held by anyone or everyone, and proactively applied to help avoid accidents. Its application is limited by human performance, be this knowledge, behavior, thought, etc.
“Sometimes things go wrong – so that we know when they go right”. Knowing the difference between right and wrong is part of being responsible. Aviation professionals should seek the highest standard of judgment between right and wrong, thus being responsible - partly to satisfy the public need, but also as their professional duty.
No doubt, the legal system has similar professionalism and has to satisfy a public need, but unfortunately, these activities do not always share the same aviation safety objectives.
alf5071h is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2009, 03:17
  #993 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: alameda
Posts: 1,053
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

the crew, if entirely responsible, was hired, trained, evaluated and given operational procedures by the airline. the airline was certified by the FAA as well as its training department etc.

I initaly said colgan should pay, and therefore they will unles the wings fell off the plane.
protectthehornet is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2009, 03:32
  #994 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Here and there
Posts: 3,078
Received 14 Likes on 11 Posts
I'm reluctant to discuss this further as it relates to this accident because my points would require hypotheticals that point the finger at the crew, and I don't want to do that. Suffice to say that an airline can do their very best at hiring, training, and checking crews, but they ultimately have no direct control over what happens in the cockpit on a given flight.

Another point, if the airline have acted in accordance with their operations manuals, and those manuals have been approved by the FAA, then shouldn't the FAA be held responsible?
AerocatS2A is online now  
Old 9th Apr 2009, 14:22
  #995 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: La Belle Province
Posts: 2,179
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Graybeard
Some people are not motivated by seeing to the good and wellbeing of others. Fear of lawsuits usually gets their attention, however. But like anything, it can be overdone.

Fear of lawsuits motivates people to avoid lawsuits, not to avoid accidents.

If I'm trying to avoid accidents i may encourage an open culture where people share their mistakes and near misses and everyone learns from those.

If I'm trying to avoid lawsuits I'll shred every piece of evidence that may suggest my organisation is less than perfect.

An environment where no-one dare discuss a safety issue because "the lawyers want nothing written down" is NOT an environment likely to reduce the likelihood of an accident.
Mad (Flt) Scientist is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2009, 16:14
  #996 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: long island
Posts: 316
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"Does it make much difference if you are distracted a bit by conversation or needing the newest ATIS or a load change from company while in sterile cockpit"

This statement is puzzling because it ignores the obvious difference between a necessary and an unecessary distraction.
finfly1 is offline  
Old 10th Apr 2009, 05:39
  #997 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Duncan BC Canada
Posts: 42
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
IMO if you can't walk and chew gum you shouldn't be flying an aircraft. Piloting an a/c requires multi-tasking skills.
Ralph Cramden is offline  
Old 10th Apr 2009, 10:55
  #998 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: UK Sometimes
Posts: 1,062
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
.....and/or the ability to compartmentalise?
flipster is offline  
Old 10th Apr 2009, 19:53
  #999 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Dallas, TX USA
Posts: 739
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
MFS, I couldn't agree with you more. Aviation safety requires a rigorous level of honesty not often seen in other human endeavours. That's hard enough to obtain within a no-blame culture, let alone a culture where accusations fly.
Flight Safety is offline  
Old 6th May 2009, 19:22
  #1000 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: alameda
Posts: 1,053
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Interesting update into investigation...May 6, 2009

FAA probes Colgan on pilot overscheduling

WASHINGTON-The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating whether
Colgan Air - which operated the Continental Connection commuter plane that
crashed in Clarence Center on Feb. 12 - violated federal rules by
overscheduling its pilots.

Meanwhile, sources said the National Transportation Safety Board's
investigation of the crash is increasingly focusing on Colgan's
pilot-training program, particularly pertaining to how the plane's
stall-protection system operates in icing conditions.

Revelations about the FAA and safety board investigations come a week before
the board begins a three-day hearing into the Clarence Center crash.

The board previously listed "fatigue management" and "stall recovery
training" as factors that it was studying as it searched for a probable
cause for the crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407, which claimed 50
lives, including one on the ground.

At this point, however, it is unclear whether the FAA investigation is
connected in any way to the Clarence Center crash.

"A small number" of Colgan pilots and the airline itself have received
letters of investigation from the FAA, the Colgan pilots union said in an
April 20 memo to its members that never mentions the Buffalo-area crash.

Agency officials have audited Colgan pilot schedules dating from last
November, and "through this process they have identified a small group of
pilots who, they believe, have violated flight-time or duty-time
regulations," said the memo, which was obtained by The Buffalo News.

Current FAA regulations say pilots can fly for no more than eight out of
every 24 hours, provided the pilot has had at least eight continuous hours
of rest during that 24-hour period. And if that rest period is less than
nine hours, the pilot's next rest period must be lengthened to compensate.

Airlines that violate those regulations can be subjected to civil fines. For
example, American Airlines was fined $285,000 in the wake of such violations
in 2001. Pilots, meanwhile, can be suspended for breaking those rules.

The Colgan pilots memo offers no indication of how that airline or its
pilots might have violated those regulations, and it urges pilots who have
received the letter to contact their union representative.

Laura Brown, an FAA spokeswoman, said she could not comment on or confirm
any such investigation.

Joe Williams, a spokesman for Pin-

nacle Airlines, which owns Colgan, said: "Colgan and our pilots operate in
full accordance with federal aviation regulations. There have been no, nor
do we expect any, enforcement actions against any of our pilots. Any
additional questions should be addressed to the FAA."

Meanwhile, the National Transportation Safety Board investigation of the
Clarence Center crash is raising questions about an unusual feature of the
Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's stall-protection system - and whether the
crew of the doomed plane was properly trained to know how that system worked
in icing conditions.

At issue is the plane's "REF speeds" switch, a toggle in the cockpit that
aims to account for the fact that planes stall at a higher rate of speed
when they have ice on their wings.

When the REF, or reference speed, switch is set on "INCR," the stall-warning
system will activate at a speed that's about 20 knots higher than it would
when it is in the off position.

Sources said the switch was in the "INCR" or increase position on Flight
3407, as it should have been-although the crew might not have known that
this would activate the stall-warning system much more quickly than normal.

"Unless you were trained in this maneuver, it would take you aback," said

L. McCune Jr., a pilot and attorney with Motley Rice LLC who represents the
National Air Disaster Alliance in its lawsuit against the federal government
over supposed lack of action on airplane icing. "It would happen so much
more quickly than you were used to."

Most planes don't include an REF switch and instead automatically adjust the
stall-warning speed based on the presence of ice on the wing, rather than
ratcheting it up by an arbitrary 20 knots, McCune said.

Asked for a description of the operations of the REF speed switch, a
spokesman for the plane's manufacturer, Bombardier Aerospace of Toronto,
declined to comment.

"It's possible this issue will come up at next week's public hearings; with
that, we believe it's wrong to enter into a dialogue that has the potential
to feed speculation on the cause of the tragedy," said the Bombardier
spokesman, John R. Arnone.

The safety board investigation of the crash has increasingly focused on
possible pilot error, and either fatigue or inadequate training could prove
to be a reason behind any such mistake.

In its last news release on the Clarence Center crash, the safety board said
the plane's stall-warning device - called the "stick shaker" - activated as
the plane was approaching the Buffalo area and traveling at a speed of 130
knots, "which is consistent with the de-icing system being engaged."

After the stick shaker activated, the pilot pulled back on the plane's yoke,
causing the twin-engine turboprop plane to suddenly jerk upward before
spinning out of control.

Several aviation experts previously told The News that this appears to be a
fatal error on the part of the crew. The proper response to a stall is to
lower the plane's nose to recover airspeed, increase the power and level the
wings, rather than to pull the plane's nose upward.

The plane's pilot, Capt. Marvin D. Renslow, and co-pilot, Rebecca Lynn Shaw,
died in the crash.

Renslow, 47, had just started flying the Q400 the previous December and had
accumulated 109 flight hours on the plane. Shaw, 24, had flown 772 hours in
the aircraft.

FAA probes Colgan on pilot overscheduling : Home: The Buffalo News
protectthehornet 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.