Senate Asked To Review Colgan Investigation


Sen. Charles Schumer of New York on Tuesday asked the Senate’s aviation subcommittee to schedule a hearing in response to last week’s release of email exchanges relevant to the 2009 Colgan Air crash. “The fact that [these emails] were not shared with [NTSB] investigators compels us to take a closer look at how we investigate crashes to make sure NTSB has the best information possible when making critical safety recommendations,” Schumer said. The emails, which were revealed by lawyers researching the case, show that airline staffers had expressed concern about the qualifications of the captain of Flight 3407 during his training. The airline’s parent company, Pinnacle Airlines, said the captain was properly trained and certified.

WGRZ, a news station in Buffalo, N.Y., said Pinnacle sent them a statement saying it had provided over 400,000 pages of documents to the plaintiffs, including the emails in question, three months ago. “The plaintiffs asked Colgan to reconsider the confidential designation and we have voluntarily agreed to do so because we remain confident in our full compliance with FAA regulations governing our training processes, then and now,” the airline said. The NTSB completed its 285-page report on the crash in March 2010, but the emails in question apparently were not among the documents examined by the board. “[Marvin] Renslow had a problem upgrading,” stated a supervisor in one email. Another adds, “Anyone that does not meet the mins and had problems in training is not ready to handle the Q.” Fifty people died in the crash of the Q400 in Buffalo, N.Y.