Poor Training, “Flirting” Issues Persist in Buffalo Plane Crash


We have to admit, while we see the tragedy in the recent Buffalo plane crash, we don’t see The Outrage over The Flirting between Captain Marvin Renslow and copilot Rebecca Lynn Shaw, which the Post stirs again with today’s subhed, “CREW KEPT UP CHAT AMID WING FREEZE BLUNDERS AND PANIC OVER BUFFALO.” “The two pilots,” they thunder, “were so busy flirting and chatting about their lives, relationships and career goals that when ice built up on their wings and windshield, it became just another topic of conversation.” Actually we would be more worried about pilots who were not relaxed in the cockpit, and instead pretended to be Sky King.

A more genuine issue is young Renslow’s training. There are suggestions that he had never been properly educated in emergency response, which deficit may have left him improperly responsive to the conditions that stalled his aircraft. A retired pilot tells the Daily News Renslow should have speeded up the plane rather than trying to pull its nose up as the crisis unfolded. “Speed is life,” he says. (The Times says Renslow “did exactly the wrong thing,” and adds that “many recent crashes have raised questions about training and judgment, as opposed to mechanical failure.”)

Renslow and Shaw are also thought to have flown too much too recently, raising an issue of “fatigue management,” which subject also crosses our minds during our exciting visits to medical emergency rooms staffed by overworked doctors. (FAA wishes to investigate carrier Colgan’s “exception reports” for flyers operating over standard airtime limits; Colgan says this is a separate matter from the crash.)

Being terrified of flying in any case, we would be glad to see pilots trained more extensively in aircraft devoid of potential victims, though we recognize that this would probably make flying more expensive, and perhaps lead those of us who cannot bear the cost to avail black-market airlines.