Was The Pilot Of Flight 3407 Qualified?

October 21, 2011 Updated Oct 30, 2013 at 10:04 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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October 21, 2011 Updated Oct 30, 2013 at 10:04 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY ( WKBW ) New information has been released in the legal case against Colgan Air, brought on by the families of some of the victims in the Crash of Flight 3407.

Eyewitness News has obtained confidential Colgan Air documents, released by attorneys representing the families of some of the victims.

View e-mail documents here

Attorneys claim that according to those documents, the pilot of Flight 3407, Marvin Renslow, was not fit to pilot the type of aircraft involved in the crash.

The attorneys received permission late Friday afternoon from a Federal judge to release those e-mail documents. According to a spokesman for Colgan/Pinnacle Airlines, they were released after the confidentiality stamp was removed from them on Friday.

An attorney for some of the families of the victims, Hugh Russ of Hodgson Russ LLP, told Eyewitness News that this paperwork confirms what was suspected all along...that the pilot was not qualified. Russ says it proves Colgan Air sacrificed people for profit.

50 people were killed when Flight 3407 crashed into a home in Clarence Center in February of 2009.

The Director of Corporate Communications for Pinnacle Airlines released a statement to Eyewitness News late Friday afternoon with this response:

Captain Renslow was properly trained, certified and qualified under all applicable federal aviation regulations to act as Pilot-In-Command of a Q400 aircraft. At the time Captain Renslow put in his request to be transitioned from a Saab 340 aircraft Captain to Q400 Captain in August 2008, he had three successful checking events dating back to October 2007. However, Colgan’s Chief Pilot required that Captain Renslow successfully pass another proficiency check before being allowed to begin transition training. He then successfully completed Colgan’s FAA-approved Q400 training program, was issued a Q400 type rating by an FAA-designated examiner, and successfully completed over 20 hours of transition operating experience in the Q400 with a Colgan Q400 check airman, all without any training deficiencies or problems noted.

As part of the discovery process, Colgan has provided over 400,000 pages of documents to the plaintiffs, including these emails, three months ago – well before depositions of the people involved in the email exchange. The plaintiffs asked Colgan to reconsider the confidential designation and we have voluntarily agreed to do so because we remain confident in our full compliance with FAA regulations governing our training processes, then and now.