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Continental TurboProp crash inbound for Buffalo

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Continental TurboProp crash inbound for Buffalo

Old 13th May 2009, 22:47
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ALPA and SAFETY/age 60 and other

ALPA has a mixed bag on safety....this whole discussion has been very important ...mainly about how inexperienced the pilots of colgan 3407 were.

YET ALPA Merger policy would put someone with 6 years airline experience ahead of someone with 20 years airline experience.

Hypocrisy...thy name is ALPA
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Old 13th May 2009, 23:40
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Some things I find interesting:

It is grounds for dismissal to sleep in the crew lounge, but failing five flight checks is not.

The company, when admitting that the pilot had never had stall training in the simulator, was able to smugly state that their training "met FAA standards".

Similarly, while confessing that the FO was paid about what a burger flipper would make, was able to take refuge in the "industry standard" excuse.

And the attitude of the pilot about Parker 51 time is also, to me at least, interesting if not illuminating.
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Old 14th May 2009, 03:27
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Protect...

We see eye to eye with one exception...I knew the Gitmo DC-8 Capt and considered him a friend..I was working in Turkey when this accident happened and we were all devestated...Fatigue was a MAJOR factor, however, if you pull up the NTSB report (sorry, I don't have the link avail) you'll see the other 2 crewmembers were trying to convince him to go around...

The Capt replied to the crew's verbal warnings with statements like "Back off", and "I've got it"..

Yes they all lived but my Capt friend lost a leg...

This man was highly experienced (over 15,000 hrs) and an excellent CRM man (I learned this when I was his F/E on the 727)...I pulled the "B" hyd system CB by mistake one time and he didn't get pissed...

System knowledge or pilot ability should not have been a factor in this accident...The airline was AIA I believe...

IMHO the cause of these 2 accidents are not related...
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Old 14th May 2009, 05:49
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First of all i want to say that this is a tragic accident, like all of them, and my heart goes out to all involved.


Edited due to correction........thanks willi


The first officer selected pitch mode uncommanded. Althought she told the Capt who replied that it was alright, he restated to put it back into vertical speed. Assuming that she never reselected Vertical speed and the captain thought he was in speed mode instead of pitch, it would be safe to say that there was a major CRM communication error. In my opinion, this error is why the captain wasnt paying attention to the speed, he thought it was protected, when in fact it was decreasing without his knowledge or attention.

Last edited by Kickingpost; 14th May 2009 at 15:26.
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Old 14th May 2009, 06:14
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thanks DOWNn3

you are closer to the truth than I...I've seen CRM teachers suddenly lose things and revert to the old fashioned type.

kickinpast

your crm observations are good...very disturbing to have copilot retract flaps and suggest gear up too
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Old 14th May 2009, 13:11
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Everyone seems fixated on the fact that speed was allowed to decay to the point it did, as if this caused the crash. This did not cause the crash. I suggest reading post #1093 where excrab gets it right:

"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."

That's what caused the crash.

The speed they were going was the speed they intended to go.
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Old 14th May 2009, 13:33
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Interesting stuff

TheStar.com | World | Co-pilot in Buffalo crash earned $16,254 a year
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Old 14th May 2009, 13:51
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Yes Diamond Bob, badly bugged (mis-managed) airspeeds were flown, but when leading to a stall (inclusive with other factors), a proper stall recovery had never occurred. . . . . . The horse ran out of the barn, but then it left the corral!

If documented reports on Capt Renslow's Q-400 training are correct, his most pronounced stickshaker experience was with windshear training. Oddly, the profile actually flown, more resembled a feeble windshear recovery attempt at low altitude, than one of approach stall recovery.

Could it be that Capt Renslow's discovery of his poorly managed airspeed was sudden, and in disbelief he attributed it's decay to windshear? He acknowledged (or was informed) that BUF winds would be gusting to 22kts at the time. Capt Renslow seemed to have "flown the stickshaker" (as one would when dealing with a low-level windshear training scenario in a sim) rather than proper stall recovery. . . .Even the FO started to clean up the aircraft as if in tune with such a procedure.

Last edited by L-38; 14th May 2009 at 18:56.
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Old 14th May 2009, 14:05
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"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."

That's what caused the crash.

The speed they were going was the speed they intended to go.
If you look at the animation, as the speed tape unwinds, you can see the stall speeds coming up as they approach 130kts. Can someone tell me if this is what they saw in the cockpit? If so, it would seem that they should have seen indications of an impending stall before the shaker kicked in. Wouldn't that tell them the bug speeds they set were wrong?
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Old 14th May 2009, 14:09
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Windshear scenario is the only thing I can think of that "might" explain the F/O's action to retract the flaps. However, 99% of all windshear recovery techniques do not call for configuration changes until out of the shear. So back to square 1 with the whole flaps thing. IMO, the odds that these 2 could be on the same page in that exact split second seems unlikely how unfortunate, but as noted earlier, this may well be an accident that was waiting to happen, given the state of the conditions that regional pilots endure day in and day out ( I was one too) Unfortunately, Aviation is one of few occupations that your passion is used against you to where you will do it for food stamps, truly sad.
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Old 14th May 2009, 14:12
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Can someone tell me if this is what they saw in the cockpit?
What is displayed in a cockpit, is not neccessarily what is seen.
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Old 14th May 2009, 14:22
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Statement From Colgan Air Regarding Flight Crew Training



WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - May 13, 2009) - There have been a number of news reports stating that Captain Marvin Renslow and First Officer Rebecca Shaw did not receive training specifically to deal with the situation that confronted him in the seconds before the accident involving Flight 3407. These news reports are inaccurate.

Colgan Air is issuing this statement to clarify this inaccuracy in news reports about the accident and the hearing at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) into the accident.

In fact, Colgan's FAA-approved training program does provide comprehensive training on the stall warning system during initial Q400 ground school as well as annual recurrent ground school. In addition, a pilot does indeed receive hands-on experience in the flight simulator on the proper response to stick shaker activation, despite news reports to the contrary.

Like all Colgan pilots, Captain Renslow and First Officer Shaw had thorough initial and recurrent training on how to recognize an impending stall situation through the stick shaker and how to recognize the aircraft's response to a possible stall. This training is consistent with programs and training equipment employed at all major air carriers.

Captain Renslow and First Officer Shaw did know what to do, had repeatedly demonstrated they knew what to do, but did not do it. We cannot speculate on why they did not use their training in dealing with the situation they faced.

Since the accident, Colgan has also instituted stick pusher demonstrations in a flight simulator, despite the fact that flight simulator training on this issue is not required by the FAA and is not standard in the airline industry. This is one of a number of additions that Colgan has made to its training and safety programs in the wake of the accident. For more information, visit www.colganair.com for a newly posted, comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions that clarifies additional information about the accident involving Flight 3407.
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Old 14th May 2009, 14:29
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It's a while since I last flew a turbo-prop.

I seem to remember that advancing the Condition levers invariably required an adjustment to the Power levers.

Condition levers fwd. Power levers forward.

Is it so in the Q400?

If so, it seems not to have happened.
 
Old 14th May 2009, 14:41
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Barbiesboyfriend, generally you are right if you want to maintain your speed.

However, as I'm sure you remember, advancing the condition levers is also used to increase your drag if you are too high or fast and you wouldn't want or need to increase power. Not the case in this instance but if somebody's SA is out the window it could just be another hole in the swiss cheese lining up.

Some Q400's have a Reduced Np setting. Basically you press a button and then advance the condition levers. The Propeller rpm is latched at cruise setting (850 rpm) until the power levers are advanced past a certain angle for the case of a go around.

I may have missed it but does anyone know if they were using Reduced Np on this approach? If they were, advancing the CL's would have had no effect on their speed.
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Old 14th May 2009, 15:15
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The drag from prop blades rapidly transitioning to fine pitch (ie high rpm) can be very substantial. Some extreme cases:

DCA67A0005

DCA91MA033
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Old 14th May 2009, 15:24
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Willi Wongo

I have never flown a dash-8, Boeing for the last decade. We never fly in pitch or roll mode because there is no protection. For us if you select speed it locks in the speed at which the button is pushed until you select another mode. So I might not understand how the systems works on the dash.

You are correct, I hadnt noticed that they had leveled off until just watching the video. I agree with you that at that time the aircraft was level therefore being in alt mode with would negate my comments about being in pitch mode.

I cant believe it. That was the first time ever that i had been wrong.
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Old 14th May 2009, 15:36
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From what I see on the animation: two pilots who are comfortable under normal conditions (like driving a bus), but haven't got a clue when events depart from normal. P1 is still trying to level the wings with aileron in the stall. Rudder is not being used appropriately. He hasn't recognized a stall, and if he has, doesn't have any idea on how to recover and is making it worse. He's trying to fly it out. P2 is trying to help by doing something, but likewise is completely overwhelmed and doesn't identify the problem.
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Old 14th May 2009, 15:42
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Picking over who did what, why and when is only going to show what caused the aircrafts demise... the BIG one is the culture that exists within many regional operators and it's unlikely that this enquiry will probe deeply enough to cause discomfort to the operators and the FAA....
The FAA are more than sufficiently aware of the part fatigue plays in aviation incidents and accidents... but are too close to their 'clients' to want to make any major changes...

I applied to Colgan after arriving over here and being ignorant of the T's and C's associated with the regionals... after being selected for an interview I checked their FAQ's and discovered I'd have to fly my butt off for food and politely declined... much like any suitably experienced crew.
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Old 14th May 2009, 16:02
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Just to clarify, and apologies if Chesty or someone else has repeated this tech in the past 56 pages or so......

The Q400 has FADEC engines and a PEC electronic control to run the propellors.

On approach in icing conditions, they would not have used "reduced Np
but gone for 1050rpm. The condition levers unlike in most turboprops, have detents and will select and maintain (unless at speeds close to VMCA) the selected RPM. Either 1050, 900 or 850rpm.

You use 1050rpm in icing.

The selection is made late in the configuring after initial flap and gear are down, and most likely at flap 15. If they'd just selected flap 15 but it had not fully run, then they should have been at either 850rpm or possibly 900 if in heavy icing and with some vibration due to ice on the props.

Even in this low noise config, pushing the power levers right forward causes a lot of pitch, speed and dynamic motion. Going to the firewall option will give 1050rpm and VERY dynamic motion!

The Q400 is not difficult to operate, but you do have to know the aircraft and get a feel for it, or you can certainly be a hinderance to your colleague alongside you....Read ino that what you will.
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Old 14th May 2009, 16:43
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in icing conditions, they would not have used "reduced Np
Thanks D&T, I did ask the question. Memory is a fragile thing!
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