Safety Board Rules on Colgan Q400 Crash

 - February 4, 2010, 10:02 AM

The NTSB has ruled that last February’s crash of a Colgan Air Q400 on the outskirts of Buffalo, N.Y., was due to the captain’s inappropriate actions in response to the activation of the stick shaker. Its report, released at a press conference yesterday, said the pilot pulled back on the control column when the shaker activated, placing the twin turboprop into an accelerated aerodynamic stall. Additional factors were the crew’s failure to recognize the position of the low-speed cue on their flight displays, their failure to adhere to sterile cockpit procedure and the captain’s failure to manage the flight effectively. The Board also faulted Colgan Air for its inadequate procedures for airspeed selection and management during approaches in icing conditions. The crash of the aircraft, which was operating as Continental Connection Flight 3407, claimed the lives of the two pilots, two flight attendants, 45 passengers and one person on the ground. The Q400 went down on approach, five miles short of Buffalo-Niagara Airport.