Originally posted by The Buffalo News
WASHINGTON — An inept pilot and a young first officer who would not challenge him flew Continental Connection Flight 3407 into the ground, accidentally killing themselves and 48 others in Clarence Center last February, federal safety investigators revealed in their long-awaited report Tuesday.
"What this investigation reveals is a picture of complacency resulting in catastrophe," said Deborah A.P. Hersman, chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board, which approved the report's findings after a 9½-hour meeting that disclosed extraordinary details about the crash and its ramifications.
Capt. Marvin D. Renslow's actions "led to an aerodynamic stall," a safety board investigator said, spelling out the accident's probable cause.
What's more, Renslow responded to a stall warning not by following his training, but with a response that indicated he was startled and confused, the safety board concluded. Investigators said he did exactly the opposite of what he should have done.
Safety board members made it clear, though, that Renslow's actions were emblematic of larger problems in the aviation industry — and not just the product of two poorly performing pilots.
Renslow not only failed three flight tests in his career, but also showed repeatedly during his training at Colgan Air that he tended to overreact in using a plane's controls. In addition, he never received remedial training to address his weaknesses as an aviator.
Honestly, this comes as no surprise to me. I had a feeling that it was because of pilot error months ago. And I'm sure that since the cause has been made official, there should be plenty of lawsuits popping up.
And to think that I was almost a goner is pretty scary, too. (The plane crashed a mile and a half east of my house.)