Colgan Air DHC-8-402 Q400 plane crash
Buffalo, New York, USA
Continental Connection Flight, operated by Colgan Air, departed Newark-Liberty International Airport, NJ on a domestic flight to Buffalo Airport, NY. 44 passengers and 5 crewmembers were onboard. The airplane, a DHC-8, crashed into a neighborhood six miles short of the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. It struck a house in Clarence Center, starting a huge fire. All the people onboard were killed. There is also one casualty on ground.
After a seemingly routine flight, the Dash 8 Q400 turboprop plane endured a 26-second plunge before smashing into a house. The commuter plane was on approach to runway 23. The plane slowed to an unsafe speed as it approached the airport, causing an automatic stall warning. The pilot pulled back sharply on the plane's controls and added power instead of following the proper procedure of pushing forward to lower the plane's nose to regain speed. He held the controls there, locking the airplane into a deadly stall. The plane altitude was too low to exit the stall.
The weather conditions at the time of the accidents were not so bad, but icing conditions were prevailing.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the captain's inappropriate response to the activation of the stick shaker, which led to an aerodynamic stall from which the airplane did not recover. Contributing to the accident were:
- The flight crew's failure to monitor airspeed in relation to the rising position of the low-speed cue,
- The flight crew's failure to adhere to sterile cockpit procedures,
- The captain's failure to effectively manage the flight, and
- Colgan Air's inadequate procedures for airspeed selection and management during approaches in icing conditions.