Icing Once Again Is Primary Suspect in Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 Crash


The cause of last Thursday’s terrible airplane crash near Buffalo, New York may never be know for sure.  In any case, such investigations take many months.  There was a brief period of time when there were some significant doubts as to the role of icing in the accident – partly due to the embryonic stage of the investigation hindered by the complexities of carefully sorting debris of the aircraft and the house from the remains of the victims.  What a difficult job that must be.

Yesterday and today there have been more indications that icing was responsible.  If anything accurate can be said about the nature of the environment which produces icing conditions it is that it is fickle.  Just as the surface has its own micro-climatology, so do clouds.  It appears to me that the plane that crashed must have entered an icing environment which might have been severe.  There is also a possibility of some form of mechanical and/or instrument failure.  The final determination could very well point to a combination of unfortunate happenings.

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