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    Unhappy Small plane crashes in Clarence, NY

    I was channel surfing and caught this on NBC 2 Buffalo news:

    Small plane crashes in Clarence Center Everyone who was in the house got out safely

    Updated: Thursday, 12 Feb 2009, 11:02 PM EST
    Published : Thursday, 12 Feb 2009, 10:31 PM EST

    CLARENCE, N.Y. (WIVB) - A small plane has crashed into a house on Long Street west of Goodrich.

    We are told everyone who was in that house got out safely, but that house is engulfed in flames.

    It's described as a 'massive fire' at the scene.

    There is no word on the fate of the pilot of the plane or anyone else who may have been on board.

    The first report of this crash came in about 10:20 p.m.

    The area is shut down right now.

    We do know a command center has been set up at Roll Road and Goodrich, that is near the scene.

    Some residents have been evacuated to the Clarence Center fire hall.

    Copyright WIVB.com

    According to the report, Clarence Center Fire Station very close to the crash site.

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    A lot of my family and friends live in that area. I'm sure I know at least one person at the scene right now.

    Any updates on pictures or anything?
    ------------------------------------
    These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
    ------------------------------------

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    No updates. I had to dig pretty hard just to find that. There is lots on the TV of course, but they have not updated the website yet.

    Hmmm..... update to the site:

    Plane crashes into house in Clarence Eeryone who was in the house got out
    safely

    Updated: Thursday, 12 Feb 2009, 11:28 PM EST
    Published : Thursday, 12 Feb 2009, 10:31 PM EST

    CLARENCE, N.Y. (WIVB) - A large commercial plane has crashed into a house on Long Street west of Goodrich.

    We are told everyone who was in that house got out safely, but that house is engulfed in flames.

    It's described as a 'massive fire' at the scene.

    There is no word on the fate of the pilot of the plane or anyone else who may have been on board.

    The first report of this crash came in about 10:20 p.m.

    The area is shut down right now.

    We do know a command center has been set up at Roll Road and Goodrich, that is near the scene.

    Some residents have been evacuated to the Clarence Center fire hall.

    Copyright WIVB.com

    They are also reporting 6 (plus) ambulances and mobilization of the "Emergency Response (Doctors?)" I think they said - I missed part of that, from the ERT for disaster response.
    Last edited by MalahatTwo7; 02-13-2009 at 12:35 AM.

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    Unhappy

    Final word:

    Latest report says it was a Continental Airlines a/c with approx 50 passengers aboard.

    Prayers and condolences to the families and emergency crews involved.

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    from cnn.com

    (CNN) -- A Continental Airlines plane crashed in suburban Buffalo, New York, late Thursday with 44 passengers and four crew members aboard, according to authorities.


    A Continental Airlines plane crashed into a house in suburban Buffalo, New York, late Thursday.

    Flight 3407, operated by Colgan Air, was en route from Newark, New Jersey, when it went down in Clarence Center, said Bill Peat with New York State Emergency Management in Albany.

    The plane crashed about 10:20 p.m., hitting a home and bursting into a fireball, according to New York State Trooper John Manthey.

    CNN is reporting multiple fatalities and one confirmed death on the ground.

    The crash took place about seven miles from Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Watch video from CNN affiliate WGRZ »

    Area resident Keith Burtis said he was driving to the store about a mile from the crash site when he heard the plane go down. "It was a high-pitched sound," Burtis said. "It felt like a mini-earthquake."

    Shortly after the crash, Burtis said he saw a steady stream of fire trucks rush by him as smoke billowed into the sky. Are you on the scene? Let us know at iReport

    Continental Airlines confirmed that the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 was operating between Newark Liberty International Airport and Buffalo.

    The National Transportation Safety Board said early Friday that it was preparing a "go team" to head to Buffalo to investigate the crash. The aircraft has seating capacity of 74, officials said.

    There was a light mix of snow and sleet at the time of the crash, officials said.

    Officials said relatives of passengers aboard the flight should call 1-800-621-3263 for information.

    At this time, officials said they are not concerned about a hazardous materials situation on the ground.
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/02/13/pla...ork/index.html

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    http://rnews.com/TopStory_2004.cfm?c..._story_type=18

    Quote Originally Posted by RNEWS
    BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) – Authorities say 49 people are dead after a commuter plane crashed into a home in suburban Buffalo and erupted in flames late Thursday.

    State police say all 48 people aboard the Continental Connection Flight 3407 are dead.

    Clarence Emergency Control Director Dave Bissonet says the crash also killed one person on the ground.

    The turboprop plane from Newark, N.J., hit a house in Clarence around 10:10 p.m. Thursday.

    Bissonet says the plane was approaching Buffalo Niagara International Airport, about 10 miles away.

    Twelve homes near the crash site have been evacuated.

    Continental Airlines says the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 operated by Manassas, Va.-based Colgan Air was operating between Newark Liberty International Airport and Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

    Families looking for passenger information are asked to call Continental Airlines at 1-800-621-3263.




    not good at all.

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    After reading the witness statements, I'm going to guess airframe icing due weather conditions... compounded by pilot error not turning on the anti-ice systems. Its the only scenario that makes an iota of sense for this (although that could change as the investigation proceeds so take it for its worth... my opinion).
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Sadly, I think that I am in agreement with you nmfire. I watched and listened to the news till almost 2am this morning, and heard the report from a lady who almost re-scheduled herself to Flt 3407. Apparently there were multiple delays from Newark. She reported sleet and rain with fog on the approach to Buffalo, which was commiserate with the local weather service from the airport at the time of the crash.

    No matter the cause, its still an unfortunate incident and sad loss of life. Maybe a small consolation (if it could be called that?) is that the passengers and crew did not suffer their injuries.

    ===

    The Victoria Times Colonist online has some really good photos, but not the one I've been looking for. There was one that they showed several times last night, of a firefighter pulling hose from the back of an engine, with the fire in the background. Its sad for the situation, but the photo was a really good shot.
    Last edited by MalahatTwo7; 02-13-2009 at 10:33 AM.

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    Default Dispatch

    I don't know if this was posted before, but here is a link to the fire communication.

    http://www.mcfw.com/?p=1331

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    Fiery plane crash near Buffalo, NY, kills 50
    By JOHN WAWROW, Associated Press Writer

    Friday, February 13, 2009 (02-13) 11:21 PST Clarence, N.Y. (AP)

    A commuter plane dropped out of the sky without warning and nose-dived into a suburban Buffalo house in a fiery crash that killed all 49 people aboard and one person in the home. It was the nation's first deadly crash of a commercial airliner in 2 1/2 years.

    The cause of the disaster was under investigation, but other pilots were overheard around the same time reporting a buildup of ice on their wings — a hazard that has caused major crashes in the past.

    The twin turboprop aircraft — Continental Connection Flight 3407 from Newark, N.J. — was coming in for a landing when it went down in light snow and fog around 10:20 p.m. Thursday about five miles short of the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

    Witnesses heard the plane sputtering before it plunged squarely through the roof of the house, its tail section visible through flames shooting at least 50 feet high.

    "The whole sky was lit up orange," said Bob Dworak, who lives less than a mile away. "All the sudden, there was a big bang, and the house shook."

    Two others in the house escaped with minor injuries. The plane was carrying a four-member crew and an off-duty pilot. Among the 44 passengers killed was a woman whose husband died in the World Trade Center attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

    Federal investigators found the black box recorders in the plane's tail that could shed light on what went wrong, but they said the smoldering debris was still too hot to remove bodies. The recorders were on their way to Washington for examination.

    No mayday call came from the pilot before the crash, according to a recording of air traffic control's radio messages captured by the Web site LiveATC.net. Neither the controller nor the pilot showed concern that anything was out of the ordinary as the airplane was asked to fly at 2,300 feet.

    A minute later, the controller tried to contact the plane but heard no response. After a pause, he tried to contact the plane again.

    Eventually he told an unidentified listener to contact authorities on the ground in the Clarence area.

    Erie County Emergency Coordinator David Bissonette said it appeared the plane "dove directly on top of the house."

    "It was a direct hit," Bissonette said. "It's remarkable that it only took one house. As devastating as that is, it could have wiped out the entire neighborhood."

    The 74-seat Q400 Bombardier aircraft, also known as the Dash 8, in Thursday's disaster was operated by Colgan Air, based in Manassas, Va. Colgan's parent company, Pinnacle Airlines of Memphis, Tenn., said the plane was new and had a clean safety record.

    The nearly vertical drop of the plane suggests a sudden loss of control, said William Voss, a former official of the Federal Aviation Administration and current president of the Flight Safety Foundation, a nonprofit advocacy group.

    Voss suggested that icing or a mechanical failure, such as wing flaps deploying asymmetrically or the two engines putting out different thrust, might have caused the crash, he said.

    After the crash, at least two pilots were heard on air traffic control messages saying they had been picking up ice on their wings. "We've been getting ice since 20 miles south of the airport," one said.

    Ice on the wings of a plane can alter aerodynamics and interfere with lift and handling. The danger is well known among pilots.

    In general, smaller planes like the Dash 8, which uses a system of pneumatic de-icing boots, are more susceptible to icing problems than larger commuter planes that use a system to warm the wings. The boots, a rubber membrane stretched over the surface, are filled with compressed air to crack any ice that builds up.

    A similar turboprop jet crash 15 years ago in Indiana was caused by icing, and after that the NTSB issued icing recommendations to more aggressively use the plane's system of pneumatic de-icing boots. But the FAA hasn't adopted it. It remains part of the NTSB's most-wanted safety improvements list.

    The National Transportation Safety Board sent a team of investigators to Buffalo. The Department of Homeland Security said there was no indication of terrorism.

    While residents of the neighborhood were used to planes rumbling overhead, witnesses said it sounded louder than usual, sputtered and made odd noises.

    David Luce said he and his wife were working on their computers when they heard the plane come in low. "It didn't sound normal," he said. "We heard it for a few seconds, then it stopped, then a couple of seconds later was this tremendous explosion."

    Dworak drove to the site, and "all we were seeing was 50- to 100-foot flames and a pile of rubble on the ground. It looked like the house just got destroyed the instant it got hit."

    One person in the home was killed, and two others inside, Karen Wielinski, 57, and her 22-year-old daughter, Jill, escaped with minor injuries.

    Karen Wielinski told WBEN-AM in Buffalo that she was watching TV in the family room in the back of the house when she heard a noise.

    "Planes do go over our house, but this one just sounded really different, louder, and I thought to myself, 'If that's a plane, it's going to hit something,'" she told the station. "The next thing I knew the ceiling was on me."

    She said her husband, Doug, was killed.

    The plane was carrying 5,000 pounds of fuel and apparently exploded on impact, Erie County Executive Chris Collins said.

    The 9/11 widow on board was identified as Beverly Eckert. She was heading to Buffalo for a celebration of what would have been her husband's 58th birthday, said Mary Fetchet, a 9/11 family activist.

    Clarence is a growing eastern suburb of Buffalo, largely residential but with rural stretches. The crash site is on a street of older, single-family homes about 20 to 25 feet apart that back up to a wooded area.

    It was the first fatal crash of a commercial airliner in the United States since Aug. 27, 2006, when 49 people were killed after a Comair jetliner mistakenly took off from a Lexington, Ky., runway that was too short.

    The crash came less than a month after a US Airways pilot guided his crippled plane to a landing in the Hudson River in New York City, saving the lives of all 155 people aboard. Birds had apparently disabled both its engines.

    On Dec. 20, a Continental Airlines plane veered off a runway and slid into a snowy field at the Denver airport, injuring 38 people.

    Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Carolyn Thompson in Buffalo, Linda Franklin in Dallas, Daniel Yee in Atlanta, Ron Powers in Washington, and Cristian Salazar and Jennifer Peltz in New York.

    Continental said relatives and friends of those on Flight 3407 who want to give or receive information about those on board can call a special family assistance number, 1-800-621-3263.

    On the Net:

    Audio of air traffic control: http://sn.im/bt1z3

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    I need to slightly modify my theory. The de-ice system was in fact turned on. Based on the dive and several other key factors, I firmly believe this was a tail stall due to ice build up on the horizontal stabilizer.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    I need to slightly modify my theory. The de-ice system was in fact turned on. Based on the dive and several other key factors, I firmly believe this was a tail stall due to ice build up on the horizontal stabilizer.
    And at an approximate 2500 feet altitude, that would not make for a lot of time to push the "Push To Talk" button and say "OH *****E!!" over the radio. Only just enough time to take a really deep breath and stand on the brakes, as you would for a car.

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    Not really. I have no doubt they were fighting for control the entire way down. In fact I know they were as they retracted flaps and gear moments before they hit the ground. They were trying to save it all the way down to the living room of that house. I'm not sure exactly how long their decent was, probably around 30-45 seconds. There is a lot of piloting you can do in that 30-45 seconds.

    In aviation, the radio is the last thing you do in an emergency. There is absolutely nothing that air traffic control can do to help you fly the airplane. All they can do is say "good luck". So in a situation like that, transmitting anything on the radio is not even a thought in the pilots mind. Fly the airplane, fly the airplane, fly the airplane, then fly the airplane. That's the basic theory that is engraved into your head during initial pilot training.

    I don't know what happened with this flight. They're saying there were all these violent roll changes in addition to the obvious vertical drop. It just doesn't make any sense. The only way that much ice could build up is if part of the de-ice system wasn't working. And there are so many sensors, dingers, and alarms on a Dash 8's de-ice system, its hard to imagine it being broken without warning. I'm wondering if there was an asymmetric flap issue compounded by ice buildup.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Ya, I've been in not quite simliar positions, but close enough so though. I used to fly a 1947 Stinson 108 with a buddy of mine a long time ago. It was his plane, great kite to fly.

    Anyhow, there were enough instances where we experienced a wee bit of carboureter icing. Thats no fun at 2500' even in a a/c that has a very decent glide ratio (and those Dash 8's do too - most of the time). Dave would be doing the "Five-Finger Dance" and I'd be looking out for other a/c and a good place to "land" if it came to that. Growing up in the region that your flying in always helps too, for land marks.

    The worst it ever got was when we were down to 1500 feet; trees were starting to feel real close by then. Carb cleared, engine restarted and we went home.

    In defence of the aircrew and aircraft, the leading edge of the wing on D8's (as with most any de Havalland aircraft) is almost entirely rubberized. This is basically an "automatic" de-icing tool. This can been seen on the a/c as the front edge is all black - its basically a hollow front, covererd by the rubber. There are other mechanical systems go with it, but thats the basics of it.

    Been a long time since I last flew in a D8 - last time was when it REALLY was a de Havalland a/c. I see now that they are built by Bombardier - not sure if I'd really want to trust a company that started primarily building snowmobiles and army trucks.......

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