BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The findings cited fatal mistakes at a point when time wascritical.
Errors by the pilots. Not icing. That's the word from federalinvestigators who've spent nearly a year examining the crash ofFlight 3407, but they also say the root problems go far beyond asingle event.
Pilot error tops the list of factors in the crash.
Capt. Roger Cox, NTSB staff, said, "You must always know whatair speed you're at all the time."
Federal investigators say Captain Marvin Renslow and FirstOfficer Rebecca Shaw did not take action as the plane's air speedslowed.
"His failure to make standard call outs or even a declarativestatement associated with the recovery attempt further suggeststhat he was not responding to the situation using a well-learnedhabit pattern," said NTSB staffer Dr. Evan Byrne.
They even entered contradictory speed warning information intothe cockpit computer before takeoff, according to the NTSB staff.In the final seconds of the flight, the plane's stick shaker,warning of a stall, activated.
Dr. Byrne said, "There was adequate time for the crew to takeaction before the stick shaker."
That was followed by the plane's stick pusher, which points theplane's nose down during a stall. Investigators say Captain Renslowmade the wrong decision by pulling back on the stick. He did it notonce, but three times.
"The captain's improper flight control inputs were insteadconsistent with startle and confusion," said Dr. Byrne.
Last year News 4 flew with test pilots from Calspan's NiagaraFalls operation. They showed us what it's like when the stickshaker and pusher activate.
Investigators say First Officer Shaw should have stepped in totake action before the situation was not recoverable.
"I do think there was time. It wasn't just a split second thing.I think this is a fairly large, stable, straight wing airplane. Andthere was time to evaluate the situation and take recovery," saidCapt. Cox.
Another issue involves the non-essential talk between the pilotsduring the flight from Newark to Buffalo. Boardmember RobertSumwalt, an airline captain for more than 20 years, summed it upthis way.
"It was as if the flight was just a means for the captain toconduct a conversation with this young first officer," saidSumwalt.
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