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More Info, More Mysteries For Buffalo Crash
As investigators rush to recover information about Continental Connection Flight 3407, which took the lives of 50 last Thursday night when it crashed outside of Buffalo, the pieces still don't add up. But here's what we learned about the flight from this weekend:
Flight 3407 did not nosedive, but rather crashed flat. This pattern may explain why the plane only landed on one house, killing Douglas Wielinski, a man who lived there (and sending his family to the hospital with minor injuries), but sparing his neighbors.
The plane did, in fact, have major ice build-up. The theory floated early Friday that icing may have hastened 3407's descent is given grounding by the black boxes, which demonstrate that the flight crew both noticed the ice and had the plane de-icer on at the time of the crash.
The plane may have been on auto-pilot, violating airline regulations. It's the policy of Colgan Air, which operated Flight 3407, that pilots manually operate the plane in cases of "severe" icing, which may not have been present that night. Still, it's chilling to think that anything might have kept the captain and crew from righting the plane in case conditions in the air suddenly changed.
· Flight 3407 Plummeted Straight Down, Killing 50 [ABC News]
· Stunned N.Y. town mourns amid questions about Flight 3407 procedures [LA Times]
· Unease Over Weather’s Role in a City Known for Snow [NY Times]
· Friday: 49 Dead In Upstate N.Y. Continental Crash [Jaunted]
[Photo of Buffalo Niagara International Airport, Flight 3407's final destination: darkwater]