"We found the cockpit, tail section, both wings and the
engine. And they're where they should be if an airplane was laying flat,"
National Transportation Safety Board Member Steven Chealander told reporters at
a news conference late this afternoon in Amherst.
The plane also was pointed away from the airport runway where it was
supposed to land, Chealander said.
The aircraft's stall-protection mechanisms had been activated … devices that
warn the pilot of possible in-flight stalls.
There are no indications that the crew gave passengers any warning.
Chealander said investigators believe the crash was a "sudden catastrophic
Chealander said the tail on the plane had been deiced and
had numerous deicing mechanisms, including electrically heated propellers. He
described them as "sophisticated" systems.
"This airplane right here had very sophisticated
deicing systems on it. They had very sophisticated procedures and processes in
place to use to mitigate ice. We're not saying that ice caused this
Goelz, who served as managing director of the National
Transportation Safety Board from 1995 until 2000, stressed Friday that while it
is too soon to pinpoint the cause.
“Certainly this plane was
certified to fly in this kind of weather. If the deicing system was working, it
should have been able to handle the weather,” Goelz said. “That’s why there is
an air of mystery to this tragedy.”
“It could be that something went wrong with the de-icing
equipment, or there was pilot error, or both,” Cambria said. “Either way, it’s
a horrible tragedy. Either way, the passengers had a right to assume that the
plane was in good working order, and that the weather conditions were
thoroughly checked before the plane took off.”
Retired airline captain Jim Tilmon , CNN 2-13-09
(Video not available)
According to flight data recovered from the scene, the crew
discussed what they called a significant ice buildup on the plane, and they
tried to pull out of their landing approach. What does that tell you? Does that
tell you that -- that ice is -- is most likely the cause of this crash?
JIM TILMON, FORMER AMERICAN AIRLINES PILOT: Yes, I would say that that's where the investigation is going to be pointed initially.
I want to caution that this is so early in the investigation. One should not speculate too soon. It could be so many things. And maybe the ice exacerbated the situation, but we have got a lot yet to learn.
I still feel, however, that this crew was capable of dealing with this.
It was just that they got overwhelmed by something that -- an event that took place very suddenly.....
This airplane, remember, was built in Canada. That's where they
understand very clearly what it's like to fly in winter conditions. So, the airplane is configured so that it should be able to be handled very nicely under most circumstances.....
My Heart goes out to all the victim’s families during this
R.I.P Beverly Eckert
R.I.P. Alison Des Forges:
A look at some of those killed in plane crash:
The story keeps on changing...so until it's proven otherwise, she was MURDERED.