The Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) has been following the on-going investigation into the Colgan Air accident that occurred near Buffalo, New York, early last year. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that the probable cause of the crash was the "captain’s inappropriate response to the activation of the stick shaker, which led to an aerodynamic stall from which the airplane did not recover."
On February 12, 2009, a Colgan Air, Inc., Bombardier DHC-8-400, N200WQ, operating as Continental Connection flight 3407, was on an instrument approach to Buffalo-Niagara International Airport, Buffalo, New York, when it crashed into a residence in Clarence Center, New York, about five nautical miles northeast of the airport. All passengers and crew on board were killed, along with one person on the ground. The flight was a 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 121 scheduled passenger flight from Newark, New Jersey.
In a hearing held on February 2, 2010, the NTSB reported that the captain responded to the activated stick shaker by pulling back on the control column when he should have pushed forward, causing the airplane to enter an accelerated stall. Contributing factors included the flight crew’s failure to monitor airspeed and adhere to sterile cockpit procedures; the captain’s failure to manage the flight effectively; and Colgan Air’s inadequate procedures for airspeed selection and management during approaches in icing conditions.
The ACSF continues to monitor the NTSB’s investigation of the Colgan Air accident and to keep abreast of recommendations and issues that may affect the on-demand air charter community.
A summary of the report is available on the NTSB’s Website: http://www.ntsb.gov/Publictn/2010/AAR1001.htm.
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