Pilot’s Training Faulted in Deadly Crash

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(May 11) — The captain of a commuter jet that crashed Feb. 12 near Buffalo, N.Y., wasn’t trained adequately to handle the problem that led to the fatal accident, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The crash killed all 49 people aboard Continental Connection Flight 3407 and one person on the ground. The flight was operated by Virginia-based commuter carrier Colgan Air Inc., a division of Pinnacle Airlines Corp.

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Jason Peregrine, AP

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Capt. Marvin Renslow, 47, was piloting Continental Connection Flight 3407 when it crashed Feb. 12 near Buffalo, N.Y. Renslow had failed flight tests during his career and wasn’t properly trained to respond to an anti-stall system on the plane, which led to the crash, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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Capt. Marvin Renslow, 47, had flunked many flight tests during his career, and Colgan Air had never trained him how to use a warning system designed to keep a plane from stalling, the Journal reported, citing people close to the crash investigation. The stall-prevention system activated as the plane slowed down Feb. 12, but Renslow’s response was the opposite of the proper procedure, the sources told the newspaper.
Also, Renslow’s co-pilot, Rebecca Shaw, 24, was feeling ill that day and said she probably should have called in sick, the Journal said, citing people who have listened to the plane’s cockpit voice recorder.
The National Transportation Safety Board plans to hold a hearing on the crash Tuesday. Officials are looking into Colgan Air’s training and hiring practices, the Journal reported. Witnesses are expected to testify about training flaws, pilot fatigue and other problems, it said.

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Dan Steinberg, AP

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Strong winds kept a wildfire alive for days in Santa Barbara, Calif. Thousands of people were ordered to evacuate as flames swallowed dozens of homes. Here, a hillside burns after a fire jumps a highway in Santa Barbara on May 8.
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