The Unfortunate Flight 3407

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The Unfortunate Flight 3407

The Unfortunate Flight 3407


On the 12th of February, 2009, 50 people lost their lives in a tragic air plane crash. It was the unfortunate Flight 3407 of Continental Airlines, a Bombardier Dash-8 Q400. The plane took off from Newark, New Jersey and was directed for Buffalo, New York. At 2247 EST, the plane went through an aerodynamic stall and crashed in a house in Clarence Center, New York, killing all the 49 passengers and crew and one person who lived in the house. It was first accident of a local commercial airliner since the crash of Comair Flight 191 in August 2006. This incident triggered a series of strict restrictions on local airliners and caused amendments of many protocols and laws. Different organizations took part in the investigations to resolve the case and find the one responsible for the incident. In February 2010, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a report, in which the pilot was declared responsible for the crash because he failed to respond to stalls warnings properly.


The Crash

It was a normal night of 12th February 2009 in New Jersey. Flight 3407's departure was delayed to 2320 EST. The plane's destination was Buffalo Niagara International Airport and it took off from Newark Liberty International Airport. The plane, Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 has 74 seats and it runs on two turboprop engines. The plane was owned by Colgan Air. It was the first incident which resulted in fatalities that Colgan Air faced since it was founded in 1991. Captain Marvin Renslow, aged 47 was in charge among the crew of four. He was one experienced pilot with a total of 3,263 flight hours, 110 hours of which were spent flying a Dash-8 Q400. Rebecca Lynne, aged 24 was the First Officer and Donna Prisco and Matilda Quintero were the flight attendants. Another captain, Joseph Zuffoletto was on the plain but he was off duty.

For most of the time the flight was set for autopilot mode. In the final minutes when flaps and landing gear were extended, FDR (flight data recorder) indicated a rapid fall in the air speed. A few minutes later, air speed reduced to further lower levels and the tactile awareness alarm sounded, at this time the pilot had to disengage from autopilot. The pilot, instead of using full power of the plane to tackle with low airspeed, he used only 75% of ...