Pilot Transcripts Show Idle Talk, Then Terror

Flight 3407 transcript released ahead of public hearing
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 12, 2009 12:21 PM CDT
Workers remove debris at the scene of a plane crash site of Continental Connection Flight 3407 days after the accident.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Just seconds before the worst US air crash in more than 7 years, the pilot exclaimed "Jesus Christ" and moments later his first officer screamed as Flight 3407 plunged to the ground. A cockpit voice-recorder transcript released today shows that only minutes before the Feb. 12 crash outside Buffalo, Captain Marvin Renslow and First Officer Rebecca Shaw chatted about her career and shared their fear of flying in icy weather.

"It's lots of ice," Shaw said of accumulation on the wings of the plane, whose 49 passengers were killed. "Oh yeah, that's the most I've seen, most ice I've seen on the leading edges in a long time," Renslow replied. Said Shaw: "I've never seen icing conditions. I've never deiced. I've never seen any. I've never experienced any of that. I don't want to have to experience that and make those kinds of calls. You know I'd have freaked out. I'd have like seen this much ice and thought, 'Oh my gosh, we were going to crash.'"