CLARENCE CENTER, N.Y. (WIVB) - Families of Flight 3407 say they have evidence to prove Captain Marvin Renslow never should have been in the cockpit on that tragic night.
Newly released emails centering around the pilot of Flight 3407 are raising new questions. Last week, a lawyer for families suing over the deadly 2009 plane crash told News 4 that they can now prove what was always suspected.
Attorney Hugh Russ said, "These emails prove that Colgan was aware that Marvin Renslow was not qualified to fly the Q-400."
The August 2008 email exchange, only six months before the crash, between senior Colgan Air officials indicates doubts about Captain Marvin Renslow's ability to fly the Q-400 plane. "Anyone that does not meet the mins [minimum requirements] ...And had problems in training before is not ready to tackle the Q...," wrote Harry Mitchel to other senior managers.
"The last conversation is he's off the list. And then the top guy says, 'Great..Thank you.' And a month later they promote him," said Russ.
The top guy that Russ is referring to is Harry Mitchel, former vice president of operations for Colgan Air. In May 2009, Mitchel testified before the National Transportation Safety Board about Captain Renslow's ability.
"All I can say is Captain Renslow was fully qualified to captain the aircraft," said Mitchel.
But that's a sharp contrast from the email exchange in 2008 in which he tells Colgan's chief pilot "Great..Thanks" after learning that Renslow was taken off the list of pilots upgrading to the Q-400. The company maintains that Renslow was properly trained, certified and qualified. Russ is not convinced.
"Colgan is not able to prove that Marvin Renslow underwent any kind of remedial training or other special training that would have changed him from a position of not being qualified to being qualified," said Russ.
CBS News reports those internal emails were not provided to the NTSB during its yearlong investigation of the crash. We have calls into the board. In the meantime, Senator Charles Schumer says it's clear that key details fell through the cracks during the investigation.
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