Flight 3407 Plane Crash in Clarence Center, NY

Click here to read the March 25, 2009 NTSB update on its investigation into Colgan Flight 3407, which crashed five miles from the Buffalo Niagara International Airport on February 12, 2009 while on approach to the airport.

McCarthy & Kelly LLP expresses our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the tragic Flight 3407 crash on February 12, 2009 on Long Street in Clarence Center, NY.  Our law firm extends itself to the families and friends of the victims as a resource for information concerning the legal options available in the wake of this tragedy.  Our attorneys have many years of experience and success in cases involving large disasters including aviation disasters, representing victims of 9/11 and mass torts.  Aviation safety and security is the responsibility of the aviation industry - the airlines, their security companies, airports, aviation manufacturers, airline trade associations, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).  They are obligated to protect the safety and security of the traveling public. McCarthy & Kelly LLP’s aviation attorneys represent victims and families affected by major airline crashes and disasters.  Our attorneys have a wide range of aviation knowledge.  We take pride in the resources we have that allow us to regularly utilize leading experts and hold large corporations and organizations accountable.  The victims’ families should be aware that New York’s wrongful death statute of limitations is two years.  In the event that the crash investigation reveals negligence on the part of a government entity such as in the case of air traffic control or weather services, the victims’ families must file a Notice of Claim within two years.

As you may know, the Flight 3407 aircraft was a Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 twin-engine turboprop aircraft, registration N200WQ equipped with Pratt & Whitney engines.  Colgan Air, Inc. operated the aircraft as Continental Connection Flight 3407 Newark to Buffalo.  The aircraft crashed into a house approximately five miles outside the Buffalo Airport.  Flight 3407’s path took the aircraft through weather conducive to ice formation.  According to reports, no distress calls were made but the pilots discussed ice buildup before control of the airplane was lost.  The aircraft was equipped with a variety of de-icing equipment.  According to the NTSB report, Flight 3407 was on auto-pilot during its approach to the runway.  It is important to note that auto-pilot reliance is prohibited during hazardous flight conditions and calls for the pilot to manually fly the aircraft during icing conditions.  In the situation of Flight 3407 it is possible that the pilot should have changed the aircraft’s power setting in order to maintain appropriate airspeed during the approach due to the icing condition.  It has also been suggested that the crash was caused, at least in part, because the pilots had poor visual conditions at night requiring pilots to place greater reliance on instrument readings.  Other contributing factors may include the tail configuration on the aircraft that can inhibit a pilot’s ability to appreciate the amount of ice on the tail.  In addition, there are as yet unanswered questions regarding whether the flight crew was adequately trained to react appropriately to the icing condition and recovering control of the aircraft in the event of a midair stall.

If you would like to learn more about the legal options available to you and your family in the aftermath of the tragedy of Flight 3407, please call us at (212) 732-5040.

Federal law prohibits communications initiated by attorneys for the first forty-five days after an accident. 49 USC §1136(G)(2). New York’s Code of Professional Responsibility prohibits solicitation of family members.  Code of Professional Responsibility, DR 7-111, [22 NYCRR § 1200.41-a] McKinney’s Consolidated Laws, Book 29 App.  In the event that you are improperly contacted by a lawyer or someone acting on behalf of a law firm, you should report the improper conduct to the NTSB’s General Counsel, the New York State Bar Association and/or Attorney Disciplinary Committees. 

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