WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Transportation Safety Board releases its final report in the investigation into what happened last February when Continental Connection Flight 3407 crashed into a home outside of Buffalo, killing 50 people including the air crew.
Dozens of family members of the crash victims were in Washington, D.C. to listen to the report, while many more watched from remote locations.
Board members said the plane and the flight crew were properly certificated and that the plane was in good condition before takeoff. They also said ice buildup on the plane was typical and did not affect the ability of the flight crew to fly.
Board members also spoke about the investigation into the crew's training, pilot fatigue and pilot error as probable reasons for the crash.
Human Performance Group Chairman Dr. Even Byrne said, "As the air speed continued to slow, neither pilot remarked or took action consistent with recognition of the increasing proximity of the low speed cue to the indicated air speed during an 18-second period. This salient cue, signaling impending stick shaker onset, should have elicited prompt corrective action from either pilot. There was adequate time for the crew to take action."
The Operations Group Chairman said the training may not have prepared the crew to handle a stall situation.
Capt. Roger Cox said, "First, during Colgan's simulator training, the switch was not set to the increase position. Second, stall training was not conducted with an element of surprise; it was done as a pre-planned proficiency maneuver. Third, simulator training did not involve auto-pilot disconnect. In addition, simulator training did not address actions needed to recover from fully developed stalls."
The board also spoke about plans to help prevent something like this from happening in the future. Among the recommendations, changing the definition of icing conditions.