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Animation for Aviation Accident, New York, February 12, 2009
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Board Meeting

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Animation for Aviation Accident, New York, February 12, 2009

February 2, 2010
Aviation Accident Report—Loss of Control on Approach, Colgan Air, Inc., Operating as Continental Connection Flight 3407, Bombardier DHC-8-400, N200WQ, Clarence Center, New York, February 12, 2009


Loss of Control on Approach
Colgan Air, Inc.,
Operating as Continental Connection Flight 3407
Bombardier DHC-8-400, N200WQ

Clarence Center, New York
February 12, 2009
Board Meeting



This three-dimensional (3-D) animated reconstruction shows the last 2 minutes of the February 12, 2009, accident involving a Bombardier DHC-8-400, N200WQ, operated by Colgan Air, Inc., which crashed about 5 nautical miles northeast of Buffalo-Niagara International Airport, Buffalo, New York, while on an instrument landing system approach to runway 23. During the approach, a pitchup motion occurred, followed by a left roll and then a right roll. During these maneuvers, both the stick shaker and stick pusher were activated, and the speed decreased. After further pitch and roll excursions, the airplane entered a steep descent from which it did not recover.

The animation shows excerpts from the flight data recorder (FDR), the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) transcript, recorded radar data, and aircraft performance data. It does not depict the weather or visibility conditions at the time of the accident. The animation does not include audio.

The upper portion of the animation shows a 3-D model of the airplane and the airplane’s motions during the accident sequence. In this area, selected content from the CVR transcript or other annotations are superimposed as text at the time that the event occurred. All times (in eastern standard time) are shown on the right side of the screen.

The lower portion of the animation depicts instruments and indicators, which display selected FDR or calculated parameters. The instruments and indications are shown in three sections, which are (from left to right):

  • Airspeed, airspeed tape, low speed cue, attitude indicator showing pitch and roll attitude, altitude, altitude tape, rate of climb, and heading;
  • Stick shaker and stick pusher indicated as text, control wheel/column icon depicting the control wheel (rotating right or left) and control column (moving up or down) inp
    uts, and an indicator showing rudder pedal inputs; and
  • The power lever and condition lever as indicators, the flap handle selection as an indicator, and auto pilot status and gearhandle position indicated as text.

Excerpts from CVR transcript:

22:15:06.3       HOT-1    flaps five.
22:15:08.1       HOT-2    what?
22:15:08.8       HOT-1    flaps five please.
22:15:13.5       APP        Colgan thirty four zero seven three miles from KLUMP turn left heading two six zero maintain two thousand three hundred
                                       until established localizer. cleared ILS approach runway two three.
22:15:22.2       RDO-2   left two sixty two thousand three hundred ‘til established and cleared ILS two three approach Colgan thirty four zero seven.
22:15:31.7       HOT-1    alright approach is armed.
22:15:32.8       HOT-2    roger.
22:16:04.1       HOT-1    gear down…loc’s alive.
22:16:06.4       APP        Colgan thirty four zero seven contact tower one two zero point five. have a good night.
22:16:11.5       RDO-2   over to tower you do the same thirty four zero seven.
22:16:21.2       HOT-2    gear’s down.
22:16:23.5       HOT-1    flaps fifteen before landing checklist.
22:16:26.6       HOT-2    uhhh.
22:16:37.1       HOT-2    I put the flaps up.
22:16:42.2       HOT-1    [grunt]
22:16:45.8       HOT-2    should the gear up?
22:16:46.8       HOT-1    gear up.
22:16:50.1       CAM       [increase in ambient noise]
22:16:51.9       CAM       [thump]



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