Pinnacle plans to replace crashed Colgan Q400

Washington DC
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Colgan Airways parent Pinnacle Airlines Corp. is working to replace the Bombardier Q400 aircraft that crashed on approach to Buffalo 12 February.

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the accident. Initial analysis by NTSB of the aircraft's flight data recorder shows the aircraft experienced severe pitch and roll excursions after selecting a 15 degree flap setting in preparation for landing.

During a call today to discuss Pinnacle's full-year and fourth quarter earnings company CFO Peter Hunt said Pinnacle was in discussions with both Bombardier and Continental over replacing the aircraft, "however given the availability of the Qs [Q400s] it is probably not going to be replaced until some time in 2010".

Hunt says it is important to both Pinnacle and Continental to make sure the aircraft has the next-generation cabin interior.

Pinnacle is "fully insured for this event" says Hunt, who noted the company is a participant with seven other airlines in a consortium that includes two major US airlines. "Together we jointly source aircraft hull and aviation liability insurance, and every airline in the program is insured to the same level," he adds.

Reiterating Pinnacle is fully insured for the cost of the aircraft Hunt says the company also believes "we are fully insured for any related aviation liability associated with this accident".

Company CEO Phil Trenary praised the Q400 calling it a "very safe aircrafta very capable aircraft in all weather conditions including icethe performance and efficiency is just not available in a traditional jet aircraft".

Trenary also took an opporunity to express Pinnacle's "deepest sympathies to the families and the passengers and crew members of flight 3407 and to those affected on the ground. We are profoundly saddened by this terrible accident."