Officials Begin Final Day of Crash Site Investigation

By LARRY NEUMEISTER
|  Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009  |  Updated 9:57 AM CDT
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Dramatic Photos: Plane Crashes Into Suburban Home

The pilot of the doomed plane reported "significant" ice on his wings and windshield just before crashing Thursday night.

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CLARENCE, N.Y. — Investigators are expecting to finish their work at the site of Flight 3407's deadly crash near Buffalo before a possible snowstorm hits the area tomorrow.

Some of the investigators will leave suburban Clarence today, followed closely by the plane's engine, propeller blades, deicing valves, control yoke and other parts.

They'll analyze those clues as well as the data and voice recorders salvaged earlier as they try to determine what triggered the plane's violent plunge in icy weather. Pilots who flew into the area around the same time as the Continental Connection flight are also being surveyed.

Ice has emerged as a possible contributor, but investigators have not ruled out other possibilities, including aerodynamic or weight issues that could have made the plane uncontrollable.

The flight crew's histories are also being reviewed. The captain had nearly 3,400 hours of flying experience, but had only been flying the Dash 8 since December.

The crash killed 50 people -- 49 on the plane and a man on the ground.   
 


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