Co-pilot on fatal flight thought about not making trip



The co-pilot of a plane that crashed in Buffalo, New York, in February was feeling ill and had considered backing out of the flight, according to a cockpit voice recorder transcript released Monday by the National Transportation Safety Board.

“You know, we’ll see how it feels flying,” First Officer Rebecca Shaw said as the plane prepared for takeoff. “If the pressure’s just too much, I, you know, I could always call in tomorrow.” She added, “I’m pretty tough.” At a safety board hearing in May, NTSB investigators said Shaw had pulled an all-nighter before she got on the plane. After three days off, she had commuted through the night from Seattle, Washington, catching rides on FedEx flights to get to Newark, New Jersey, investigators said. Colgan Flight 3407 crashed February 12 during an instrument approach to Buffalo-Niagara International Airport. The four crew members and all 45 passengers died; there was also one fatality on the ground. The transcript indicates intermittent sneezes and sniffles during the flight. The report released Monday adds to the factual material connected to the investigation and does not provide analysis into the probable cause of the accident, the safety board said. The other pilot on the flight, Capt. Marvin Renslow had nearly a full day off beforehand, but safety board investigators found that he slept in the Newark Airport crew lounge, against Colgan Air regulations.

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