Training a focus in air crash
WASHINGTON - Pilot training is expected to be the focus of an unusual public hearing today into safety issues raised by the February crash of an airliner near Buffalo that killed 50 people.
The National Transportation Safety Board's investigation has found that Captain Marvin Renslow, the pilot of the Dash 8-Q400
Today's hearing is the board's first public hearing in more than five years in which all board members will be present, an indication of the depth of the board's concern.
"Training is clearly going to be a very important" part of the hearing, said NTSB acting chairman Mark Rosenker.
The training by the airline, Colgan, for the plane did not include a demonstration or simulation of the stick-pusher system, sources said.
A stick-pusher automatically kicks in when a plane is about to stall, pointing the aircraft's nose down into a dive so it can gain enough speed to allow the pilot to guide it to a recovery.
However, when Flight 3407's stick-pusher kicked in on approach to Buffalo Niagara International Airport the night of Feb. 12, Renslow pulled back on the plane's control column, apparently trying to bring the aircraft out of the sudden dive by raising the nose. Pushing forward to gain speed is the proper procedure.