Okay people listen up. I think a lot of you are jumping to conclusions before doing any research. I am a pilot, and own a small plane. After
talking with several other pilots, I think there is a reasonable answer fro what happened.
Firstly, I listened to the tapes of the ATC controler this morning before they made a transcript. Impossible? Not at all. The Buffalo tower records
all the ATC traffic, and it is pubished automatically to LiveATC
The reason they did not have transcripts of the flight that went into the Hudson was because JFK does not record ATC for some reason. So they did not
get the transcript till the voice data recorder was recovered.
So those saying it is impssoble to have those yet, it is not.
Secondly, I live about 100 miles from Buffalo. The weather was awefull last night. Winds in excess of 35MPH, snow and freezing rain showers.
Some have said why did they not decendout of the freezing.
They were flying IFR, on approach for landing. That means to stay clear of other planes they must obey the ATC insructions. Another pilot had
reported Rime Iceing from 3000FT to aournd 10K feet I believe, so they were in the thick of it. The plane was designed for moderate iceing, as most
They were about 4 miles out, on ILS approach, at 2300ft during the last radio call. For those saying that there is no way it could have been freezing
at that altitude, you are wrong. I am not sure what the ground temperature was, but lets say 35*F, just above freezing. Temperature drops about
4.4*F per 1000ft. altitude increase. So at 2300, the temp would be about 26*F, well below freezing. Plus the ceilings were low, so that puts them in
Here is the most likely scenario. The Dash 8 has a T-tail configuration. It is more susceptible to freezing rain. A similar configuration of plane
is no longer in use in parts of Europe for this very reason.
If they did not have the tail heaters on, or they were not functioning, Ice would build up on the tail. More than likely they were on an automatic
ILS approach and descent util just before laning. The autopilot was correcting for the ice by giving more elevator. Speed began to slow. The
autopilot came to a point it could no longer correct for the tail ice. A T-tail plane can do what is called a tail stall. Lift is still being
generated by the wings, but the tail looses its lift. This causes an abrupt nose down situation.
Nose down at 2300ft. and probably 200mph, would give about 10 seconds or less before impact. Not nearly enough time to recover, especially with tail
I can't say for sure this is the exact reason, but right now, it is one that makes sense. It was a very unfortinate accident.