Tapes Point to Ice as Crash Factor

Nearby pilots report icy conditions
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 13, 2009 6:55 AM CST
Map locates Buffalo Niagara Int%u2019l Airport, N.Y., near where a commuter plane crashed into a home.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Icy conditions may have been a factor in the plane crash near Buffalo that killed 50 last night, the Buffalo News reports. Just after the disaster, air traffic controllers asked other nearby pilots about ice. Several confirmed that they had "picked up rime ice." After a long pause, an air traffic controller tells the other pilots about Continental Connection Flight 3407's crash.

“We did have a Dash 8 over the marker that didn't make the airport,” he says on a tape released by liveatc.net. Before the crash, several attempts by the controller to speak with Flight 3407 can be heard, to no response. Eventually the controller calls for a police search of the area where the plane became unresponsive. “We need to find out if anything is on the ground,” he says.