KarlB737
Topic Author
Posts: 2636
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2004 9:51 pm

New EMails Reveal Colgan Doubted Pilot's Ability

Mon Oct 24, 2011 4:55 pm

It was not my desire to dredge up this topic once more on A-Net as others have already covered the topic in the past. In light of new evidence brought forward by a lawyer who is working on behalf of the families I felt it was important information for us within A-Net to be aware of.


Courtesy: The Buffalo News

Emails Reveal Bosses' Doubts About Renslow - Flight 3407

"The lawsuits against Colgan, a regional carrier, and Continental are based in part on the contention that Colgan did not adopt adequate safety programs and that it also failed to sufficiently train its flight crews.

Russ thinks the emails prove that even Colgan had doubts about Renslow's abilities, but nevertheless cleared him to fly the plane."

"We're now able to prove what we've always suspected," said Hugh M. Russ III, a lawyer for several families. "Facing financial difficulties, Colgan chose profit over safety."

http://www.buffalonews.com/topics/flight-3407/article602606.ece

_____________________________________________________________________________________


Courtesy: The Buffalo News

Lawyer: Emails Confirm NY Crash Pilot Shortcomings

"A lawyer for families suing over the deadly 2009 crash of a plane into a house near Buffalo, N.Y., says newly released emails show the flight's operator, Colgan Air, doubted its pilot's ability to fly the plane six months before it crashed.

Despite misgivings, Capt. Marvin Renslow was allowed to fly the Q400 plane one month after Colgan managers exchanged emails showing he failed to make a list of pilots to be promoted from a smaller Saab plane, attorney Hugh Russ III said Friday."

http://www.buffalonews.com/wire-feed...ur-national-news/article602741.ece


The Lawyer on CNN:

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bes...011/10/24/am-russ-colgan-crash.cnn
 
toltommy
Posts: 2519
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2003 9:04 am

RE: New EMails Reveal Colgan Doubted Pilot's Ability

Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:11 pm

Wouldn't the next question be "after these emails were exchanged, who then decided to promote him, and why?"
 
apodino
Posts: 3045
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 2:11 am

RE: New EMails Reveal Colgan Doubted Pilot's Ability

Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:12 pm

A lot has been talked about the Seniority system in aviation, and how at most airlines this is the only factor determining who upgrades. The thing that worries me about this is that Captain Renslow upgraded when flight management didn't feel he was ready. Now I don't know all the facts here, but if the reason he was able to upgrade was that he was senior enough to hold Captain, this is one big flaw with the Seniority system. The problem though is if you take that away, you have a lot of butt kissing of chief pilots, and people pushing boundaries further than they should to look good in the eyes of management. That isn't necessarily a safe thing either.

All in all, Seniority is probably safer. But what worries me is at my carrier I can name at least a couple of guys who are currently F/O's who I already know will not make good captains at all. Many of us dread the day their seniority allows them to upgrade. I don't mean to be harsh to these guys, but Stick and Rudder skills are one thing, but being a decision maker in charge of the airplane is totally different.

My heart goes out to the Colgan victims. I can't help but wonder though, if we need a law passed in aviation where the shareholders and management need to be held liable just as the company is. Because although the company takes a hit financially, the people in charge as well as the shareholders don't seem to lose out much. Despite ValuJet's problems 15 years ago, Lewis Jordan to my knowledge escaped with little financial harm, and is still doing quite well.
 
DualQual
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RE: New EMails Reveal Colgan Doubted Pilot's Ability

Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:26 pm

All seniority does is allow you to bid for upgrade. You still have to pass the training and pass the checkride. When people fail they either get retrained or sent back to their old position or sometimes fired. The failure here wasn't seniority. It was the total failure of safety culture and cheapest training.
There's no known cure for stupid
 
azjubilee
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RE: New EMails Reveal Colgan Doubted Pilot's Ability

Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:36 pm

Exactly DualQual! Seniority gets you to training. One must EARN their upgrade by busting their butt in training and demonstrating the ability required. Good training programs will weed out the bad apples and the bas training programs will pass them via desperation and laziness.

One bright spot at Colgan is that since Pinnacle Corp. acquired Mesaba last year MANY mgmt and training department personnel have been installed at Colgan from Mesaba. They've been working feverishly to fix the problems and put that organization on the right track. They're estimating spring 2012 for the Mesaba name to replace Colgan.
 
planespotting
Posts: 3026
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RE: New EMails Reveal Colgan Doubted Pilot's Ability

Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:32 pm

Quoting azjubilee (Reply 4):
One bright spot at Colgan is that since Pinnacle Corp. acquired Mesaba last year MANY mgmt and training department personnel have been installed at Colgan from Mesaba.

Probably the only way that Colgan could become a respectable regional - no offense to most Colgan ees.
Do you like movies about gladiators?
 
highflier92660
Posts: 546
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 2:16 am

RE: New EMails Reveal Colgan Doubted Pilot's Ability

Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:50 pm

I don't want to disrespect the deceased Captain Marvin Renslow. Within crash/burn literature there is a poignant sometimes quoted aviation cliche that a pilot uses the sum total of his training and abilities in his last moments of life. Having said that, Captain Renslow, either too clever for his own good in believing it was tailplane icing (hence pulling back and aggravating the stall) or acting out in reflex panic, should never have been in the left seat of that Q400. There are some people regardless of flight training that remain unfit for command of an aircraft.

Despite their internal qualms about Marvin Renslow, could Colgan have upgraded him because he was one of the pilots on the seniority list that never complained, always took the extra flight and never cancelled because of weather or a mechanical issue? Did he fly under the radar because he was a go-along-with-anything non-confrontational personality, the short guy in glasses that wouldn't stand out in a pilot uniform or stacking boxes in a Land o' Lakes, Florida Publix supermarket?

Those are the kind of questions that should be examined.
 
flyby519
Posts: 1179
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RE: New EMails Reveal Colgan Doubted Pilot's Ability

Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:58 pm

It would be interesting to see what happened to the rest of the names on that list of pilots who were trying to transition from the Saab to the Q but failed training. I wonder if they were given a free pass through and are now on the line flying a plane they shouldnt be...
These postings or comments are not a company-sponsored source of communication.
 
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b727fa
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RE: New EMails Reveal Colgan Doubted Pilot's Ability

Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:14 pm

The other questions is, "Which upgrade" did he have difficulty with?

Had he been a capt on the SAAB? >>The email says "Yes, you are correct," one of the two supervisors responds in an email. "Rensloe had a problem upgrading.">"Anyone that does not meet the mins [minimum standards] and had problems in training is not ready to handle the Q," another supervisor says in a later email exchange.
My comments/opinions are my own and are not to be construed as the opinion(s) of my employer.
 
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b727fa
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Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:21 pm

RE: New EMails Reveal Colgan Doubted Pilot's Ability

Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:17 pm

My post was weird when I submitted...so I'm going to simplify it!

My question is "which upgrade?"

Was he a SAAB capt? Or are they calling the Q an "upgrade?"
My comments/opinions are my own and are not to be construed as the opinion(s) of my employer.
 
RamblinMan
Posts: 785
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:57 pm

RE: New EMails Reveal Colgan Doubted Pilot's Ability

Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:33 pm

Quoting apodino (Reply 2):
I can't help but wonder though, if we need a law passed in aviation where the shareholders and management need to be held liable just as the company is.

Yeah, throw the investors in jail every time a plane crashes. That'll help.  
 
flyby519
Posts: 1179
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 3:31 am

RE: New EMails Reveal Colgan Doubted Pilot's Ability

Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:43 pm

Quoting b727fa (Reply 9):
Was he a SAAB capt? Or are they calling the Q an "upgrade?"

Im 90% sure he was a Sabb captain and was transitioning to the Q
These postings or comments are not a company-sponsored source of communication.
 
apodino
Posts: 3045
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RE: New EMails Reveal Colgan Doubted Pilot's Ability

Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:57 pm

Quoting RamblinMan (Reply 10):

Yeah, throw the investors in jail every time a plane crashes. That'll help.

I wasn't suggesting that. What I was suggesting is when these families settle, some of the money should come out of Managements pockets. If the things that led to the crash were due to pressures from shareholders, they should bear some financial responsibility as well. Watch how quickly things change for safety when you actually hit management in their own pockets, rather than just the companies (Which should also be hit as well)

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