Kin defend co-pilot of downed plane

Associated Press / May 16, 2009
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WASHINGTON - The mother and husband of the co-pilot of the commuter plane that crashed as it approached a Buffalo airport defended her yesterday against suggestions that she was an unqualified pilot who was tired, sick, and distracted when the deadly accident occurred.

Rebecca Shaw "was a professional pilot. She took her job extremely seriously. She loved what she was doing," Troy Shaw said of his wife on NBC's "Today" show.

Rebecca Shaw's mother, Lynn Morris, said she felt that not enough was said during three days of National Transportation Safety Board hearings about how qualified and dedicated to flying her daughter was.

"I heard over and over again the issue of fatigue, the issue that she was sick. And she wasn't fatigued, she wasn't sick," Morris said.

Rebecca Shaw, 24, and the captain of Continental Connection Flight 3407, Marvin Renslow, 47, apparently didn't notice a sudden drop in the speed of their twin-engine turboprop as the aircraft neared Buffalo Niagara International Airport on the night of Feb. 12.

The plane experienced an aerodynamic stall and plunged into a house below, killing all 49 people aboard and one on the ground.

The Shaws had recently moved into her parents' home near Seattle and she had flown across country overnight to Newark to make her flight to Buffalo.