20090213/黑匣子记录显示飞机坠毁前有结冰现象

(星星生活记者捷克佳报导)调查人员说,根据从事故现场附近寻获的“黑匣子”记录的飞行数据,显示美国大陆航空3407号航班在失事前,飞机的机翼和挡风玻璃有结冰现象。

此前有报道说,飞机坠毁时天气状况较差,当地正下雨雪。

美国国家交通安全局(NTSB)发言人史蒂夫(Steve Chealander)表示,当时除冰设备已由机组人员打开。他补充说,当这架双涡轮螺旋桨飞机的辅助翼(襟翼)放下时,飞机出现严重俯仰和翻滚现象。在此之后,机组人员试图提高起落架和收襟翼,“黑匣子”记录结束。

美国大陆航空一架小型商业客机当地时间2月12日晚在纽约州水牛城(Buffalo)附近坠毁。事故共造成50人罹难,一名加拿大人和一名中国乘客已经确认在事故中丧生。在一份公布的遇难者不完全名单里,另有一名华人郭兆方(Zhaofang Guo音译)也在事故中遇难。

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(坠机地点:6050 Long St., Clarence Center, New York)

据新华社报道,中国驻纽约总领馆侨务领事罗刚介绍,在坠机事故中丧生的50人当中有一名中国公民。她叫姚世彬,1971年出生,生前在普华永道会计师事务所工作。姚世彬的丈夫正在赶赴布法罗的途中。

在一份由水牛城新闻网公布的遇难者不完全名单里,来自纽约州Williamsville的郭兆方(Zhaofang Guo音译),55岁,在空难中丧生。据这份名单,郭兆方的妻子是王萍(Ping Wang音译),王萍在一家癌症研究所(Roswell Park Cancer Institute)工作。

多伦多英文媒体报道说,在遇难的50人当中,已确认有一名加拿大人当-麦克唐纳(Don McDonald)。他来自安省伊利堡(Fort Erie),在当地一家医药公司的雇员,他已在公司工作26年,他的妻子和幼女居住在伊利堡。

据悉,失事飞机是由加拿大庞巴迪(Bombardier)公司生产的Dash 8 Q400型飞机,是一架双发动机涡轮螺旋桨飞机,可载客74名。当晚,这架大陆航空公司的3407号航班是从新泽西纽瓦克机场飞往纽约州水牛城机场,当时机上共有49人,其中包括4名机组人员和一名休班飞行员,以及44名乘客。

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坠机事件发生周四晚间约10点20分,地点为距水牛城国际机场约5英里的郊外。失事飞机摧毁地面一间民宅,机上49人在事故中全部罹难,无一生还。事故同时导致一名地面人员死亡。

当地报道称,乘客中包括一位9.11事件遗孀,贝弗利-埃克特(Beverly Eckert)的丈夫死于2001年的世贸中心恐怖袭击事件。贝弗利由于经常充当“9-11”事件家属的代言人,很多人对她十分熟悉。

星星生活早前报道,美国国家交通安全局(NTSB)已派14名官员赶赴现场调查。NTSB官员说,记录飞机飞行记录的仪器“黑盒子”已经寻获,外表看起来完好无损。调查人员正在试图找出事故发生的原因。

由于失事飞机是加拿大制造,加方也将参与事故的调查。加拿大交通安全局(TSBC)对媒体表示,TSBC多伦多办事处将派两名成员前往事故现场。据悉,庞巴迪公司和制造飞机发动机制造商也派出一个产品安全和技术小组,去现场协助NTSB进行调查。此外,加拿大交通部还任命了一名部长观察员参与加拿大调查组的工作。

另据美国媒体报道,令专家们感到困惑的是,为何载有49人的美国大陆航空3407航班会从空中突然垂直坠落,甚至没有时间播出求救警报。目击者说,失事飞机突然间急剧坠落,直接冲入地面上的一间民宅,但社区内邻近的其他家庭则幸免于难。

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  1. jackjia (Post author)

    Updated: 02/13/09 10:46 PM
    Continental Flight 3407 reported ‘significant icing’ before crash that killed 50
    By Charity Vogel, Phil Fairbanks and Brian Meyer
    News Staff Reporters

    The flight crew of the Continental Express plane that crashed into a Clarence Center home Thursday night faced “significant icing” problems as it approached the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. All 49 persons aboard the plane were killed, as well as one man on the ground.

    The National Transportation Safety Board revealed the icing findings this afternoon following initial review of Flight 3407’s flight data and cockpit voice recorders.

    “The crew discussed significant ice build-up — ice on the windshield and leading edges of the wings,” said the NTSB’s Steven R. Chealander.

    While he stressed no conclusion has been reached as to whether the ice build-up played a role in the crash, Chealander confirmed ice can play havoc with aircraft.

    “Significant ice build-up is an aerodynamic impediment. Airplanes are built with wings that are shaped a certain way and ice can change the shape,” Chealander said.

    The NTSB’s preliminary analysis of the plane’s so-called “black box” and flight crew conversations also noted that the Bombardier Dash-8’s anti-icing system had been activated. However, at this time there is no indication as to whether the system was functioning properly.

    The recorders also detected the plane’s landing gear were engaged one minute before the crash. Approximately 20 seconds later, when the plane was 2,200 feet off the ground, it aircraft experienced “severe pitch and roll” — violent sideways and up and down motions.

    The flight recorders were removed from the wreckage of the plane this morning and flown to the NTSB’s laboratory in Washington, D.C. More detailed information is expected to be gleaned from the equipment as it undergoes more intensive analysis.

    Chealander said the “quick audition” of the recorders found that in the last half hour of the doomed flight, the crew reported visibility was 3 miles and there was snow and mist in the air.

    On its descent to the Buffalo airport the crew subsequently reported “hazy” conditions and asked the air traffic control tower for permission to drop down to 12,000 feet. Moments later it requested a flight path at 11,000 feet to dodge the weather conditions.

    Chealander said despite early determinations the flight faced weather challenges, the NTSB has not ruled out criminal or terrorism activity in the crash.

    “Nothing has been ruled in, nothing has been ruled out,” Chealander said.

    The transportation safety agency is asking anyone who observed anything unusual about the flight prior to the crash to call the FBI’s information line at: 856-7800.

    Late today, federal investigators began the grim task of locating victim remains at the crash site. The pain-staking process involves flagging remains amid the badly burned crash debris and removing them for identification.

    Authorities said the effort is expected to take “many days.”

    The plane crashed into a home on Long Street in Clarence Center. Names of the dead began trickling out at midday, giving a window onto the group of passengers aboard the flight from Newark to Buffalo that crashed at about 10:15 p.m.

    The names of victims emerging from families and friends included Alison Des Forges, a noted historian and human rights activist who documented the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

    Also killed in the crash was Susan Wehle, cantor at Temple Beth Am in Amherst, and Zhaofang Guo of Amherst, the husband of researcher Ping Wang at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

    As the victim list began to grow, a fact of the tragic plane crash became apparent: like Buffalo itself, the group of people killed in the incident ranged from the obscure to the famous, and included parents, spouses and employees returning from a business trip.

    “It’s not fair to have another loved one [killed] in that kind of fashion. It’s pretty shocking,” said Cynthia Blest, sister-in-law to one of the prominent victims, Beverly Eckert, widow of a Buffalo native killed on 9/11.

    “Unfortunately, there was a town resident in one home that perished, and two people escaped from that home with minor injuries,” County Executive Chris Collins said. The man has been identified as Douglas C. Wielinski, 61. His wife, Karen Wielinski, 57, and their daughter, Jill, 22, escaped and were taken to Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, where Kaleida Health officials said they were in stable condition in the emergency room.

    “They confirmed they were in the house when the plane hit,” Kaleida communications chief Michael P. Hughes said.

    Onlookers — and authorities — were amazed that more homes were not destroyed.

    “It’s in that yard, basically,” said Chealander. “It was a very compact area.”

    Eyewitnesses said the plane sounded odd before it crashed and seemed to strike directly into the home on Long Street.

    “It was a bad, bad impact. It was hot, and the explosion was massive,” said Clarence resident Tony Tatro, who was driving nearby at the time of the crash. “I couldn’t see anyone surviving it.”

    The sickly glow from the burning wreckage could be seen for miles.

    Names of the passengers on the plane were not being released immediately by the airline.

    The 50 dead included four on-duty crew members on the Continental plane, one off-duty crew member, as well as 44 people traveling toward Buffalo on business and pleasure trips, and one man on the ground.

    Among the crash victims was Beverly Eckert, the widow of Sean Rooney, who was killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Eckert was traveling to Buffalo for a family celebration of what would have been her husband’s 58th birthday.

    Family members and friends identified two people believed to be on the plane as Ellyce Kausner, a graduate of Clarence High School and Canisius College, and Maddy Loftus, a Buffalo State College graduate who lives in New Jersey.

    The crew members were identified as Capt. Marvin Renslow, pilot of the plane; Rebecca Shaw, first officer of the flight; and flight attendants Matilda Quintero and Donna Prisco.

    Another employee of the airline, Capt. Joseph Zuffoletto, a Jamestown resident who was off-duty at the time, was also killed.

    Sources at Northrop Grumman Amherst Systems, a defense contractor on Wehrle Drive in Williamsville, have confirmed four of its employees were aboard the Continental Connection flight No. 3407 that crashed in Clarence last night. All four were returning home from a business trip for the company.

    Names of the four victims have not yet been released.

    The fiery crash — which stunned onlookers by its intensity and heat — is the deadliest U.S. airline crash since November 2001, when American Airlines Flight 587, taking off from John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City, crashed into the Belle Harbor neighborhood of Queens, killing all 260 people aboard the plane and five people on the ground.

    Gov. David A. Paterson arrived in Buffalo at about 10:30 a.m., and made his way to the Erie County Emergency Operations Center in Cheektowaga, which earlier in the day had been turned into the base of operations for emergency personnel.

    Paterson, wearing a jacket with a New York State Police logo and a grim expression, met with FBI and NTSB officials at the center. He left without making any statements to reporters.

    Paterson’s next stop was the Cheektowaga Senior Center, where he went to meet with family members of the victims.

    The Rev. Angel L. Gauthier, of Prince of Peace Christian Church in Buffalo, was inside the Cheektowaga Senior Citizens Center, where he found what appeared to be more than 100 family and friends of people who perished in the plane crash.

    “Walking in there was like being in the valley of suffering,” said Gauthier, who is also a chaplain with the Buffalo police and fire departments. “I was sharing a thought with a family member who lost a grandson and he couldn’t stop weeping. All I did was hug him and cry with him.”

    “I tell you,” Gauthier said, “It’s going to be a day of mourning for all of us in Western New York, and all over the nation.”

    Jaimeelynn Trujillo, a Clarence resident who lives directly behind the crash site and was evacuated by police in the moments after the crash, saw the immediate impact of the plane’s hit first-hand and called it “horrifying.”

    She was also one of the few to see at least one of the occupants of the Long Street house — the site where the plane crashed — fleeing to safety.

    Trujillo said she was watching the house and saw one of the two women inside the home run outdoors, in a state of panic.

    “I saw her start saying, ‘It’s my house, it’s my house, it’s my house.’ And then she fell to the ground,” Trujillo said.

    Family members and close friends who were at the airport or arrived from out of town were taken to the Cheektowaga Senior Citizen Center early this morning.

    “We’re trying to do everything we can for these people,” Cheektowaga Police Capt. John Glascott said. “Right now they’re grieving.”

    Friends said Loftus was heading here for a weekend reunion of Buffalo State women hockey players.

    “You never think this is going to happen to you,” Kausner’s aunt, Susan Leckey, also from Clarence, said at Buffalo Niagara International Airport. “It always happens to somebody else, and you see it on TV.”

    Kausner’s family lives roughly a quarter-mile from the crash site.

    There was little communication between the plane and the tower before the crash, according to Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority spokesman C. Douglas Hartmayer. Crew members aboard the flight from Newark Airport had not reported mechanical problems as they approached Buffalo.

    “I was told by the tower the plane simply dropped off the radar screen,” Hartmayer said.

    The crash occurred at 6038 Long St., not far from the Clarence Center Fire Hall on Clarence Center Road. Three people were in the home at the time of the crash — including one man who was killed.

    About 12 other nearby homes were evacuated. Several sustained fire damage, and witnesses reported that the acrid smell of burning fuel permeated the crash scene.

    “We had a significant amount of fuel left in the aircraft,” said Dave Bissonette, emergency coordinator for the Town of Clarence. “It was a hazmat situation.”

    Two volunteer firefighters also were treated at Millard Fillmore Suburban, with injuries not believed to be serious.

    “The site right now is too hot for anyone to start the investigation,” Collins, the county executive, said during a 4 a.m. news conference. At 3:15 a.m., the wreckage continued to smolder. Several parts of the site were burning hot and dangerous.

    Goodrich Road resident Tatro, 35, was driving east on nearby Clarence Center Road just before the crash. He saw the plane, just above him, heading north, which seemed to be in the opposite direction it should have been heading.

    “It was [flying] nose down, hardly above the treetops, and its left wing was tilted slightly down,” Tatro said. “I did not see any landing gear. I saw the underbelly of the plane fairly well. There was nothing burning on the plane and no physical damage. Nothing seemed wrong, except it was on a bad path.”

    The sound of the plane was labored and unusually loud just before the crash, some witnesses said.

    Tatro didn’t see the crash, but he had no trouble hearing it, even with his car windows closed.

    He immediately feared the worst — that no one would survive such a deep impact and fiery inferno.

    “No chance,” Tatro replied.

    Beverly Eckert, the widow of Sean Rooney, a Buffalo native who had been killed in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, had been headed to Buffalo for a weekend that was to include a commemoration of her late husband’s 58th birthday.

    The weekend was also to include awarding of the Sean Rooney Scholarship at Canisius High School.

    Chris Kausner, of Clarence, whose sister Ellyce was aboard the flight, said that after he heard about the crash, he called another sister who had gone to pick her up at the airport to see if her plane had landed.

    “She said that they told them the plane had landed and was taxiing, but that was not the case,” he said.

    Kausner said Ellyce was a law student at Florida Coastal University in Jacksonville and was coming home to visit.

    The dead included five crew members of Pinnacle Airlines, the parent company of Colgan Air, which was operating the flight.

    Capt. Renslow, who joined the airline in September 2005, had flown 3,379 hours with the carrier. First officer on the flight was Rebecca Shaw, who joined Colgan last January and had flown 2,244 hours with Colgan.

    Flight attendants were Matilda Quintero and Donna Prisco, who both began flying with Colgan in May. The off-duty crew member killed in the crash, Jamestown resident Capt. Joseph Zuffoletto, was a fifth employee of the airline on board the flight.

    A nurse at Erie County Medical Center said the hospital’s second shift had been ordered to stay late, in order to treat survivors. They were finally sent home, at midnight, when the bodies didn’t come in.

    Heading up the NTSB’s investigation in Buffalo, officials said, will be Lorenda Ward. Ward has investigated several other plane crashes during her tenure at the agency, including the crash in the fall of 2007 that claimed the life of New York Yankees pitcher Corey Lidle.

    Two planeloads of NTSB investigators touched down in Buffalo early today, for a total of 14 federal officials on the ground to work on the site.

    Chealander, who is one of the national board’s five members, also arrived on the scene and described the work ahead as a process of retrieving “perishable evidence” from the disaster area.

    Federal investigators will be interviewing local people who witnessed or heard the crash, Chealander said. “We’re just trying to gather facts, we’re trying to get witness accounts,” he said.

    Officials were being tight-lipped about the plane’s passenger manifest.

    Local authorities had received a copy of the manifest of passengers aboard the ill-fated flight early today, but that list has not been released. Officials said that it would not be made public until all families of the victims were notified.

    Clarence resident Kathleen Dworak lives about a quarter mile from the crash scene. Her home is beneath an airplane flight path, so she said she’s accustomed to hearing planes all the time. But the noise she heard Thursday night was quite different.

    “It sounded like an airplane sputtering. It was a totally different sound,” she said.

    A short time later, she went outside and saw nearby trees lit up.

    “There were flames 50 to 100 feet high. It was just a massive ball of fire. And you couldn’t even tell there was a plane on the ground,” she said.

    Dworak added that it’s amazing the plane didn’t do damage to more homes. Emergency services officials say the one home at 6038 Long St. was destroyed, and only one other nearby home sustained some damage.

    David Luce, who lives with his wife Mary Jane about 150 yards from the crash scene on Goodrich Road, said he wasn’t surprised to learn that there were so many deaths.

    “I can’t imagine that anyone survived it,” he said. “If you heard that explosion, and you saw how fast the whole area was on fire, it was pretty clear that it was jet fuel burning.

    “I would guess that everything disintegrated on impact,” he added.

    Just before the crash, Luce heard the plane and noticed that it sounded a little funny.

    “It sounded quite loud, and then the sound stopped,” Luce said. “Then one or two seconds later, there was a thunderous explosion. I thought something hit our house. It shook our whole house.”

    “There was the initial boom, and then these cannon shots — these loud secondary explosions, and they went on for about 10 minutes.”

    Within 5 to 10 seconds, Luce said, he saw flames 40 or 50 feet high.

    One or two minutes after the crash, Luce had walked to a spot that gave him a clearer view of the scene. “The house was already flattened. There was no house, just a pile of rubble and still burning.”

    His wife Mary Jane Luce said, “There was just a big ball of fire.” She said that after she realized how terrible the crash was, her thoughts flew to the families and friends of the victims.

    According to the Luces, their tenant saw the plane coming down at a strange angle. The tenants went to call 911, but by that time the crash had already occurred.

    David Luce said he heard screams following the crash, but he doesn’t know whether they came from injured people or from neighbors.

    Almost two hours after the crash, Luce said he still saw flames shooting from the crash site, but they were not as high as before.

    Buffalo News Staff Photographer Harry Scull Jr., who lives in Clarence, said he heard a fire alarm at 10:20 p.m.

    “Thirty seconds later, the phone rang, and I knew it was something big,” he said. “It was my neighbor. He said ‘a plane hit a house, look out your window.’ I’m two miles from there, and it was a ball of fire.”

    Scull said he went to Long Street to take pictures and found a chaotic scene as firefighters attempted to run hoses to fight the flames.

    Scull noted that after dark, he has noticed that incoming flights pass lower overhead.

    “It scares you, they come in so low,” Scull said. “You can smell the jet fuel burning. I knew it was just a matter of time.”

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