Dark Side of the Highway
Song - Artist - Album
The Crystal Ship (1967) - The Doors - The Doors, Elektra
Today I launced a new weekly segment on "Dark Side of the Highway" (Sundays 4-6 AM) called "This Day in Dark America", during which I'll spotlight a major disaster or other tragic event from that show's particular date in American history, along with an accompanying musical selection. For the inaugural segment, I covered the February 12, 2009 crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 near Buffalo, New York.
Colgan Air Flight 3407, marketed as Continental Connection under a codeshare agreement with Continental Airlines, was a U.S. regional airline flight from Newark, New Jersey to Buffalo, New York. The plane crashed into a house in Clarence Center, New York on February 12, 2009, at 10:17 p.m. The crash killed 50 people, including the two pilots, two flight attendants, 45 passengers (including an off-duty pilot), and a person in the house into which the plane crashed. It was the first fatal accident of a commercial airliner in the United States since the August 2006 crash of Comair Flight 191.
The Bombardier Dash-8 Q400, operating as Flight 3407, departed Newark late at around 9:20 p.m. Minutes before it was scheduled to land, the plane entered into an aerodynamic stall while on an ILS approach to Runway 23 at Buffalo Niagara International Airport. The pilots failed to respond properly to the stall warning and attempted to pull the nose of the plane up as it was losing airspeed, causing a fatal loss of lift. The aircraft subsequently spiraled out of control and crashed about 9.3 kilometres (5.0 nmi) short of the runway threshold.
Among the people killed in the crash were jazz musicians Garry Niewood and Coleman Mellitt, who were en route to a concert with Chuck Mangione and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.
The crash opened a wave of inquiries over the operations of regional airlines in the United States. Families of the victims lobbied the U.S. Congress to enact more stringent regulations over regional carriers, and apply greater scrutiny to safe operating procedures and the working conditions of pilots.
This week's accompanying musical selection for "This Day in Dark Americana" was the song "Something's Up We're Going Down" by the bluegrass group Nothin' Fancy. The song can be found on their 2002 Pinecastle Records release Once Upon a Road.