Families in fatal plane crash to get key report
BUFFALO — Lawyers for families suing over the deadly 2009 crash of a plane into a house near Buffalo have won access to an internal safety report that the flight's operators had fought to keep private.
They can also interview a retired Federal Aviation Administration inspector who, before the crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407, was critical of Colgan Air Inc., the now-defunct regional carrier that operated the Newark, N.J.-to-Buffalo flight for Continental Airlines.
A federal judge issued the decisions last week in advance of a March 2014 trial in the case of wrongful death claims filed by passengers' families against Continental, Colgan, its parent, Pinnacle Airlines Corp. and the plane's maker, Bombardier Inc.
Colgan and Pinnacle had argued against both disclosures.
“The significance, I don't think can be overstated,” Hugh Russ III, a lawyer representing several families, said Tuesday.
The commuter flight stalled and crashed into a house on approach to Buffalo Niagara International Airport on Feb. 12, 2009, in an accident investigators blamed on pilot error. All 49 people on board and a man in the house died.
Less than a month after the crash, Colgan Air commissioned the firm of Nick Sabatini & Associates for an internal safety review during which Sabatini interviewed mechanics, pilots and other employees and observed training classes and flights.
Colgan executives said the findings were privileged and intended for internal use only — and withheld them from the National Transportation Safety Board.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Officers swarm California counties as deputies killed in shooting rampage
- Teacher tried to stop school shooting
- Teacher tried to stop Washington state shooting
- WWII pilot takes off in B-29 yet again
- Philadelphia Mafia figure returned to prison for meeting friend
- 1686 shipwreck ‘like dinosaur’ being rebuilt for museum
- Test confirms remains are missing Virginia student’s
- Seattle area school homecoming ‘prince’ guns down classmates
- Coburn’s final ‘Wastebook’ tallies $25B in what he considers ‘pork’
- Feds fault security of tax info gathered for health care law benefits
- Doctor 1st Ebola virus case in New York City