Colgan Air Flight 3407

Colgan Air Flight 3407
A similar Q400 aircraft
A Dash-8 Q400 similar to the aircraft involved
DateFebruary 12, 2009 (2009-02-12)
SummaryStalled during landing approach; crashed into house[1]
SiteClarence Center, New York, United States
43°00′42″N 78°38′21″W / 43°00′42″N 78°38′21″W / 43.0116; -78.6391
Flight originNewark Liberty International Airport, Newark, New Jersey
DestinationBuffalo Niagara International Airport, Buffalo, New York
Ground casualties
Ground fatalities1
Ground injuries4

Colgan Air Flight 3407, marketed as Continental Connection under a codeshare agreement with Continental Airlines, was a scheduled passenger flight from Newark, New Jersey, to Buffalo, New York, which crashed on Thursday, February 12, 2009. The aircraft, a Bombardier Dash-8 Q400, entered an aerodynamic stall from which it did not recover and crashed into a house in Clarence Center, New York at 10:17 P.M. EST (03:17 UTC), killing all 49 passengers and crew on board, as well as one person inside the house.[2]

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducted the accident investigation and published a final report on Tuesday, February 2, 2010, which found the probable cause to be the pilots' inappropriate response to the stall warnings.[3] As of 2019, Flight 3407 is the most recent aviation incident resulting in mass casualties involving a U.S.-based airline.[4][5]

Families of the accident victims lobbied the U.S. Congress to enact more stringent regulations for regional carriers, and to improve the scrutiny of safe operating procedures and the working conditions of pilots. Although it did nothing to address the specific causes of the crash – improper stall recovery technique and pilot fatigue – the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administrative Extension Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-216) required some of these regulation changes.[6]

Flight details

Location of departure and destination airports
Crash site
Crash site
A map showing the locations of the Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR); Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF); and Clarence Center, the location of the crash site.

Colgan Air Flight 3407 (9L/CJC 3407) was marketed as Continental Connection Flight 3407. It was delayed two hours, departing at 9:18 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST; 02:18 UTC), en route from Newark Liberty International Airport to Buffalo Niagara International Airport.[3]

The twin-engine turboprop Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, FAA registry N200WQ, was manufactured in 2008 for Colgan.[7]

This was the first fatal accident for a Colgan Air passenger flight since the company was founded in 1991. One previous ferry flight (no passengers) crashed offshore of Massachusetts in August 2003, killing both of the crew on board. The only prior accident involving a Colgan Air passenger flight occurred at LaGuardia Airport, when another plane collided with the Colgan aircraft while taxiing, resulting in minor injuries to a flight attendant.[8]

Captain Marvin Renslow, 47, of Lutz, Florida, was the pilot in command, and Rebecca Lynne Shaw, 24, of Maple Valley, Washington, served as the first officer.[9][10][11] There were two flight attendants: Matilda Quintero and Donna Prisco. Captain Renslow was hired in September 2005 and had accumulated 3,379 total flight hours, with 111 hours as captain on the Q400. First Officer Shaw was hired in January 2008, and had 2,244 hours, 774 of them in turbine aircraft including the Q400.[12]

There were two Canadian passengers, one Chinese passenger, and one Israeli passenger on board. The remaining 41 passengers, as well as the crew members, were American.[13]

Nationality Passengers Crew Ground Total
Canada 2 0 0 2
China 1 0 0 1
Israel 1 0 0 1
U.S. 41 4 1 46
Total 45 4 1 50