‘Smoking Gun’ Emails Released in Lawsuit Over NY Plane Crash That Killed 50

by NPHM | October 24th, 2011

October 24, 2011

An internal email that circulated amongst Colgan Air staff in August 2008 indicates that the pilot who crashed a plane into a Clarence, New York, home in February 2009 was not qualified to fly the type of plane that he crashed.

According to ABC News, a lawyer representing families of the victims released the “smoking gun” emails to support their assertion that the 47-year-old pilot was not properly trained, thus causing the disaster that was Continental Connection Flight 3407 from Newark to Buffalo, operated by Colgan Air.

The emails went out about six months before the crash occurred on February 12, 2009, killing a total of 50 people, including two pilots, two flight attendants, 45 passengers, and one person who was inside the house that the plane crashed into.

In them, Colgan Air’s Vice President of Flight Operations states that the pilot “had a problem upgrading” and, taking that into consideration, “anyone that does not meet the [minimums] and had problems in training before is not ready to tackle the Q.” The “Q” is a reference to the Bombardier DHC8-402 Q400 – the plane that the man later crashed.

The lawyer calls the emails a “devastating admission on the part of Colgan,” saying that they clearly show the airline “chose profits over safety.”

Read more.

What can be learned from this disastrous aviation accident?

If you or someone you know has had their safety compromised on a commercial or private aircraft, the aviation lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy can help.

Photo Source: The Buffalo News