NTSB hearing on Colgate Air 3407 crash in Buffalo worse than expected

Posted on 12. May, 2009 by in Featured

Not only did the cockpit voice recorder capture the chatter of the crew at a critical time of flight, the subject of their conversation was as indicting as it was sad. The subject was their inexperience and lack of training. They both were hired with little experience (by their own words); and the First Officer was very concerned about upgrading to Captain. As they talked the aircraft began to slow. 30 seconds later it stalled and crashed; below is the transcript for the last 7 minutes:

22:10:32 — First Officer Rebecca Shaw: Oh yeah, oh it’s lots of ice.
22:10:47 — Captain Marvin Renslow: “Oh yeah, that’s the most I’ve seen, most ice I’ve seen on the leading edges in a long time. In a while, anyway, I should say.
22:10:57 — Shaw: Flying in the Northeast, I’ve 1,600 hours. .. I had more actual time on my first day of IOE (initial operating experience) than I did in the 1,600 hours I had when I came here.
22:11:31 — Renslow: But, uh, as a matter of fact I got hired with about 625 hours here.
22:11:37 — Shaw: Oh wow.
22:11:39 — Shaw: That’s not much for, uh, back when you got hired.
22:11:42 — Renslow: No but, uh, out of that .. 250 hours was, uh, part 121 turbine, multi-engine turbine.
22:11:50 — Shaw: Oh that’s right yeah.
22:11:54 — Shaw: No, but all these guys are complaining, they’re saying, you know, how we were supposed to upgrade by now and .. I’m thinking, you know what? I really wouldn’t mind going through a winter in the Northeast before I have to upgrade to captain.
22:12:05 — Shaw: I’ve never seen icing conditions. I’ve never deiced. .. I’ve never experienced any of that. I don’t want to have to experience that and make those kinds of calls. You know I’d’ve freaked out. I’d have, like, seen this much ice and thought, oh my gosh we were going to crash.
22:13:58 — Renslow: Oh yeah, I’m so glad. .. I mean, I would’ve been .. fine. I would have survived it. . We never had to make decisions that I wouldn’t have been able to make but .. now I’m more comfortable.
22:15:59 — Cockpit area microphone (CAM): (sound similar to decrease in engine power)
22:16:04 — Renslow: Gear down.. loc’s alive.
22:16:06 — CAM (sound similar to landing gear handle movement)
22:16:06 — Buffalo Approach controller (APP): Colgan thirty four zero seven contact tower one two zero point five. have a good night.
22:16:07 — CAM (sound similar to landing gear deployment)
22:16:11 — Shaw: Over to tower you do the same, 3407.
22:16:14 — Flight Crew Audio Panel (HOT): (sound of two double chimes)
22:16:21 — Shaw: Gear’s down.
22:16:23 — Renslow: flaps fifteen before landing checklist.
22:16:26 — CAM (sound similar to flap handle movement)
22:16:26 — Shaw: uhhh.
22:16:27 — CAM (sound similar to stick shaker lasting 6.7 seconds)
22:16:27 — HOT (sound similar to autopilot disconnect horn repeats until end of recording)
22:16:27 — CAM (sound of click)
22:16:31 — CAM (sound similar to increase in engine power)
22:16:34 — Renslow: Jesus Christ.
22:16:35 — CAM (sound similar to stick shaker lasting until end of recording)
22:16:37 — Shaw: I put the flaps up.
22:16:40 — CAM (sound of two clicks)
22:16:42 — Renslow: (sound of grunt) (unintelligible) -ther bear.
22:16:45 — Shaw: should the gear up?
22:16:46 — Renslow: gear up oh (expletive).
22:16:50 — CAM (increase in ambient noise)
22:16:51.9 — Renslow: we’re down.
22:16:51.9 — CAM (sound of thump)
22:16:52.0 — Shaw: we’re (sound of scream)

3 Responses to “NTSB hearing on Colgate Air 3407 crash in Buffalo worse than expected”

  1. Rick 12 May 2009 at 15:40 #

    Of course the whole conversation is incredible, and as you say, sad. Not one word exchanged regarding airspeed. One has to be concerned about cockpit discipline training at Colgan. I see plenty of lawsuits shaping up here.

  2. Chip 12 May 2009 at 20:43 #

    No doubt there is a long line of lawyers already que’d up. I’m very curious how the FAA will react.

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