Colgan 3407 Initial CVR And FDR Data

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The NTSB Friday announced that information retrieved from the Colgan Air Bombardier Q400 Dash 8 that crashed after a near vertical descent into a suburban Buffalo neighborhood indicates the crew was aware of "significant ice buildup" on the aircraft. Steve Chealander, speaking for the NTSB, Friday told reporters that the cockpit voice and flight data recorders were recovered in good condition and showed that the crew noted significant icing on the wings and windscreen as the aircraft descended through 11,000 feet -- and after the aircraft's de-icing equipment had been switched on. The NTSB has not confirmed de-icing equipment was functioning. Initial details of the crash's timeline show that one minute before impact, while flying at about 2,000 feet, the crew lowered the landing gear. That was followed 20 seconds later with flap extension. It was then that the aircraft experienced "severe pitch and roll" movements. The crew attempted to raise the landing gear and that action was followed almost immediately by impact. Weather at the time of the crash was winds WSW at 17 with gusts to 26. Clouds included an overcast layer at 2100 and broken clouds at 800 feet. Visibility was three or four miles in mist with trace precipitation. The temperature/dewpoint was 33/31.

The flight was out of Newark for Buffalo, but ended in a suburban neighborhood about six miles northeast of the airport. The crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 at roughly 10:20 pm, Thursday, took the lives of all 49 aboard the aircraft, plus one of three in the home it impacted on the ground. The concentrated impact area and witness reports suggest a near-vertical descent.