The Crash in Buffalo

By | February 15, 2009
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We held off a few days on this to see what developments came up, so we could do a proper review of the situation. We tend to agree with the Cranky Flier that there is a standard story everyone writes about this sort of issue. Like him, we have nothing of specific note to add. We’ll summarize as briefly as possible for our readers, and leave it at that.

A Colgan Air flight with 44 passengers and 4 crewmembers onboard crashed Thursday night into a house in Clarence, NY, killing one person on the ground. The plane, a Bombardier Dash 8 Q-400  turboprop, was on approach to Buffalo-Niagara International Airport.

The plane was operated by Colgan Air(their press release) as a Continental Connection flight…Flight 3407(Continental‘s press release).

This was the first fatal crash involving the Q-400 turboprop. 220 of these planes have been delivered to 30 airlines around the world. Over nine years of flights, the fleet had logged more than 1 million flying hours and 1.5 million takeoff cycles without a fatal accident, and the plane in question was just under a year old. Three of the planes in 2007, owned by SAS, were involved in crash landings due to problems with landing gear. Despite this, Colgan was set to order 15 Q400 NextGen turboprops, on top of the 15 they announced in January.

The Dash 8 line of aircraft, despite its “Crash 8” nickname, has always been a rather safe and fuel efficient aircraft, which is why Continental arranged for the operation of the Q400 out of Newark. Originally manufactured by de Havilland was introduced in 1984, and is now produced by Bombardier under the designation Q, for quiet, referring to increased noise cancelling offered on these aircraft. Over 900 Dash-8s of all models have been built.

The Middle Seat Terminal pointed us to some links to recordings from ATC, if it is to your taste.

Until further reports are in, that will be all.

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