A commuter flight crashed into a house near Buffalo, NY killing all 49 aboard and one man in the home.
The flight was operated by regional carrier Colgan Airlines, a subsidiary of Pinnacle Airlines (NASDAQ: PNCL). The Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, a 74-seat turboprop departed Newark, NJ for Buffalo at 9:20PM EST, one hour and 49 minutes late before it went down around 10:20PM EST.
“This is easily the saddest day in the history of our airline,” said Phillip Trenary, CEO of Pinnacle Airlines.
Audio recordings of communications between Colgan 3407 and air traffic control reveal nothing out of the ordinary. The pilots remain calm and at no point do they make any indication that there is a problem.
A Delta flight made reports of icing in the area, and the weather indicated light snow with temperatures at and below freezing at the time of the accident. Gusty winds were also reported. The Buffalo METAR report revealed:
KBUF 130354Z 24011KT 3SM -SN BR SCT011 OVC021 01/M01 A2981 RMK AO2 SLP103 P0002 T00061006
KBUF 130254Z 24015G22KT 3SM -SN BR FEW011 BKN021 OVC027 01/M01 A2979 RMK AO2 SLP097 P0001 60004 T00061006 51015
According to CNN, Thursday’s accident was the first fatal airline accident since Comair flight 5191 crashed departing the wrong runway in Lexington, KY.