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Continental TurboProp crash inbound for Buffalo

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Continental TurboProp crash inbound for Buffalo

Old 12th May 2009, 23:46
  #1061 (permalink)  
Uncle_Jay
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The Flaps

The PNF retracted the flaps at 22.16.37, the airplane was 90 degrees to vertical at that time and the pilot was applying left aileron, airspeed was 98. The PNF did what she could to save the situation uncommanded, gear and flaps up. Actually if they had been about 1000 feet higher they would have recovered - at 22:16:43 the airplane was straight and level at 129 knots. Which explains the witness reports that the airplane was headed away from the airport.
 
Old 13th May 2009, 00:47
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retracting flaps while the plane is stalled is not a good idea.

the only thing that makes sense in this tragedy is that the pilots did not understand they were in a conventional stall and thought they were in a a tailplane stall.

AND IF SO it is a clear indictment of poor training.

Yet adding power in a tailplane stall might be wrong too.

SO, I can just think that neither pilot was thinking very well (fatigue), hadn't been well trained, lacked discipline, and didn't avoid a stall in the first place.

The chit chat in the cockpit was about aviation and aviation problems...its not like they were talking about the Kentucky Derby.

30 years ago, the route from newark/new york to Buffalo would have been flown with a jet like the 727 , 737 or DC9. With better trained pilots, more days off, less fatigued and the like.

desitter is closer to right than positiverate in my view...though it is each particular situation that must be judged. (flying since 1975)


bringing the gear and flaps up doesn't make sense to me. not going to firewall power doesn't make sense to me. getting stalled in the first place doesn't make sense to me.

I wonder if the copilot had been taking any nasal decongestant product?

AT first blush I will have to agree with the bombarider witness who said a more experienced ( I read BETTER) pilot could have recovered.

SOME pilots are amazingly unaware of how the turboprop can slow down at IDLE upon leveling off...the blades are in effect a giant speed brake of drag at low power settings.

Perhaps the characteristics and ''feel' of the saab 340 vs. Q400 should be analyzed and compared...we often revert to the LAST plane we flew when fatigued.

This crash didn't have to happen. Its not like its raining Q400's.

I hope the lawyer for the families reads this post.
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Old 13th May 2009, 01:54
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Continental can, and should, pay through the anus on this one
Oh, really? How would that work when pilots are not Continental, not trained by CO; and the airplane was neither leased, owned, nor operated by CO. The responsible party is Colgan Airways, which is wholly owned by Pinnacle Airways.
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Old 13th May 2009, 02:11
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Why isn’t the regulator cited; they have having some (significant) responsibility in overseeing operational standards, licensing, and training? Or is the reported competency an outcome of the new management philosophy of devolved responsibility, AQP, SMS, etc?
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Old 13th May 2009, 02:12
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glueball

people bought a ticket on a continental flight...the plane had the name continental on the side of it

the case will be made and continental will pay one way or another.

continental may well be able to recover their loss by suiing pinacle

THIS CRASH WAS 30 years in the making...since deregulation.
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Old 13th May 2009, 03:35
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Pilot 'flirting' before fatal plunge

May 13, 2009, 10:40 am

The captain of a Continental Airlines plane that crashed into a New Jersey house, killing all 49 people on board and one resident in February, was flirting with his young female co-pilot just moments before the accident, it has been alleged.
An investigation of the incident will reveal that prior to the disaster, Captain Marvin Renslow, 47, and co-pilot, Rebecca Shaw, 24, broke Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules that forbid non-flight-related talk below 10,000 feet, the New York Post reports.
According to a source close to the investigation, a public hearing will listen to the duo's banter, which was captured on the flight recorder.
Shaw's fatigue is said to have been a factor in the crash, as she had complained about a head cold and said she should have taken a sick day after a week skiing with her family.
Renslow was never properly trained on the Dash 8-Q400 Bombardier's anti-stall stick-pusher, which if used properly could have prevented the fatal plunge, sources said.
Renslow's inexperience and poor track record will be another hot topic at the hearing. The Post reports that he had only been captaining a Q400 for two months with just 109 flying hours.
Before graduating as a pilot in 2005, he had failed three proficiency tests on general aviation aircraft. Later, he failed two accreditation exams on turboprop planes and was unsuccessful in his first bid to qualify as a co-pilot on the Beech 1900 aircraft. He was also unsuccessful in his first attempt at Saab 340 pilot certification.
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Old 13th May 2009, 04:49
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That people keep trying to put forward that the crew thought they were in a tailplane stall is mind boggling. My bet is they hadn't even heard of such a thing, and it didn't even enter their thinking. Don't know what a chip detector is, but try and recover from a perceived tailplane stall? I don't think so.
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Old 13th May 2009, 06:03
  #1068 (permalink)  
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Perhaps Capt Renslow thought he had encountered a windshear...if so, then wouldn't the procedure be to call for "radar" (max) power and try to fly it out on the edge of the stickshaker?
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Old 13th May 2009, 07:07
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Perhaps Capt Renslow thought he had encountered a windshear...if so, then wouldn't the procedure be to call for "radar" (max) power and try to fly it out on the edge of the stickshaker?
Or perhaps he had no clue what he was doing?

Basic stall recovery was needed, but even after 6.7 seconds of stall warning they both did the wrong thing...Sad really.
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Old 13th May 2009, 07:12
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Sad to see the airspeed dropping.........and dropping........and.....too late....
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Old 13th May 2009, 10:11
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Airspeed

I just fly my own plane, a B36TC Bonanza, single pilot, and stay out of icing conditions altogether. But on any approach, IFR of Visual, airspeed is probably the thing I monitor most. And I know how fast the plane should be going at a given power setting and configuration, so if my rules of thumb don't add up, a great big red flag would start waving in my mind. In the approach phase of this flight, I didn't see any comments suggesting that IAS was being monitored at all, or did I miss something?

Is that normal in a plane with a crew? I always imagined you would be calling it out, just as on take off.
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Old 13th May 2009, 10:50
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They were in over their heads.

There just aren't enough qualified, experienced pilots out there to crew all the flights around the world. That's the price SLFs pay for being able to go anywhere, anytime at Greyhound prices.
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Old 13th May 2009, 12:09
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Quote:
Perhaps Capt Renslow thought he had encountered a windshear...if so, then wouldn't the procedure be to call for "radar" (max) power and try to fly it out on the edge of the stickshaker?
Or perhaps he had no clue what he was doing?

Basic stall recovery was needed, but even after 6.7 seconds of stall warning they both did the wrong thing...Sad really.
In a windshear situation PF clearly announces it and PNF does not change the configuration of the aircraft until, PF calls for and A/C is out of it. Firewall levers and use maximum possible lift available, if necessary, on the edge of the stickshaker.
To announce what one is doing, especially in a knife edge situation, is basic airmanship.
They were in over their heads.

There just aren't enough qualified, experienced pilots out there to crew all the flights around the world. That's the price SLFs pay for being able to go anywhere, anytime at Greyhound prices.
Couldn't agree more. I think this is a consequence of the neo-liberalism wave that dragged us all to the worst recession since the 30's.
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Old 13th May 2009, 12:38
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Predictably the media is looking for sensationalism - I read the transcript and the conversation between the crew could have been on any one of a thousand flights - seemed fairly normal.

The interesting thing is what wasn't mentioned.

They bugged speeds for the approach which they quoted as 14 and 18, so presumably 114kts for Vga and 118kts for Vref which would make sense for a Q400.

Later they mentioned ice on the windscreen, so if they were using the ice protection system properly would have had the "increased ref speed switch" on, and should then have rebugged the speeds at 134 and 138kts, but they failed to do so.

The stick shaker activated as they were letting the speed bleed back toward the bugged speed and took them by surprise. Why they didn't fly a proper recovery is anyones guess.

I would defend the crew, however. It is easy to say this happened because of inexperience, but there are plenty of Q400 pilots who have forgotten the ref speed switch because of distraction. I'll put my hand up and say that I'm one of them, and we got a stick shake intercepting the localiser - it was a few years ago and at the time I had about 11000 hours total and about 2500 PIC in the Q400, and I got distracted while line training a new F/O and forgot to turn it off as we descended out of icing - so not quite the same scenario.

I think however, that their company check list could do with some amendment. In the transcript the F/O reads the descent and approach checklist and makes no mention of ice protection - in the Q400 check list I have in front of me now it is the second item in the descent checks and also in the approach checks - and had they got as far as the landing checks it is the first item there, before the gear - I saw no mention of the anti-ice system being operated at all in the whole transcript, and can't help thinking there were some CRM issues here - they were talking to each other about flying stuff but didn't seem to be talking to each other much about the actual flying they were doing.
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Old 13th May 2009, 13:37
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They must both have been absolutely knackered...

...going by this description from the New York Times of what they did before the flight. Maybe I'm naive, but this shocked me.

Captain Renslow had flown to Newark from his home in Florida the previous evening and had apparently slept in the crew lounge of Newark Liberty International Airport, a room not much different from a frequent-flier club lounge. Pilots are warned not to try to sleep there, under threat of dismissal.

Other pilots interviewed by board investigators said that Captain Renslow had discussed renting a ”crash pad” to sleep at near the airport, though he never did.

First Officer Shaw had left her home in Maple Valley, near Seattle, and taken an evening flight in the cockpit of a FedEx cargo jet to Memphis. Then, in the middle of the night, she transferred to the cockpit of another plane bound for Newark.

Investigators said it was not clear whether either pilot could have gotten any sleep during the day of the flight.

According to board officials, at one point Colgan Air warned crew members who lived far from Newark not to try to fly in the same day a shift began. But the airline’s most recent instructions to pilots do not include that warning.

In February, of the 137 pilots working for Colgan in Newark, 93 identified themselves as living far away, according to the board.
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Old 13th May 2009, 13:58
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Sad

The airplane stalled on final. Pilot error. When the feds and the media get done with this. Heads will roll.

There is way too many problems leading up to this event. Captains training records, CVR dialog, Colgan's training, rest issues etc.

Colgan will surely catch flames for this. Hopefully it will give the general public an idea of the qualifications of crew members and recruiting practices of the commuters.

$18,000 per year as an airline pilot. What can you expect. We can only hope the industry raises the bar.
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Old 13th May 2009, 15:15
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Some presentation material from yesterday's hearing is now on the NTSB website:
Agenda with attached files of presentations
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Old 13th May 2009, 15:41
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I've only seen excerpts of the CVR transcript...does anyone have a good link to the entire transcript?

There is a sad fact in training about stalls ...

Minimizing altitude loss instead of sacrificing altitude to achieve a safe AOA is not beeing taught anymore. Yet still a recovery would demand firewall power, which was not done.

In one of the jets I've flown the manual clearly says for stalls above 25,000' one must sacrifice altitude for AOA/Airspeed.

When I taught stalls in small planes, an approach to landing stall was taught with dsitractions like dropping a microphone on the floor.

We would all be better served with a cockpit video recorder...I WANT TO KNOW exactly what the pilots saw on their insturments...not what was recorded on the FDR.
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Old 13th May 2009, 15:43
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CVR transcript.

NTSB animation, includes depictions of flight instruments and control positioins.

The server is still quite busy; it may be necessary to click "reload" a few times.
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Old 13th May 2009, 16:21
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Here's a direct link to Windows Media animation rather than Flash, that may be easier to load.

http://www.ntsb.gov/Events/2009/Buff...DCA09MA027.wmv

It is astounding that a pilot would allow his airspeed to decay so rapidly. Is there an issue here with design of modern instruments? I would think a giant psychedelic barber pole should be flashing somewhere.

-drl
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