Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Flight Attendants from Colgan Air Flight 3407

On February 12, 2009, a Dash 8 Q400 aircraft operated by Colgan Air crashed into a house while on approach to Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Continental Connection Flt. CJC 3407, was arriving at Buffalo from Newark Liberty International Airport at the time of the accident. There were no survivors among the 49 people on board. One person on the ground also perished in the accident.

Among those who lost their lives in the accident were the two flight attendants: Matilda Quintero, 57, and Donna Prisco, 52. They had been flight attendants for less than a year. Both had joined Colgan Air on May 28, 2008. They trained together and had become good friends.

Matilda Quintero

Matilda Quintero, a breast cancer survivor, lived in Woodbridge, NJ with her 90 year old mother, and one of her two grown daughters. Her other daughter also lived in the area. Her husband passed away in 1998.

An article about Matilda Quintero in the Democrat and Chronicle quoted her boyfriend, Jim Ferris, who said, "She wished she had a chance to show what she could do, to save lives. She was proud of what she learned. She used to say her job was not just about serving drinks and meals."

Donna Prisco

Donna Prisco was a stay-at-home mom of four until last year when she went to work for Colgan Air, fulfilling a lifelong dream of becoming a flight attendant. She resided in Randolph, NJ with her husband, three sons and daughter. Her daughter also works for Colgan Air.

An article about Donna Prisco in the New Jersey newspaper, the Star-Ledger, quoted Ms. Prisco's sister who said, "She wanted to go back to work and do something for herself. She said, 'I'd do this job for free.' She just loved it."

A pilot from Canada told the Edmonton Sun he recalled flying with Matilda Quintero and Donna Prisco.
"I remember flying with Donna and Matilda on a flight in early November," said John, who did not want his last name used. "We were sitting on the ground for several hours in Toronto on a ground delay program into Newark. The passengers were starting to get angry with the long wait but the women did an amazing job serving the passengers and joking with them to keep them calm."

"I instantly recognized their names because these two were so exceptional. Commuting pilots don't always remember the names of flight attendants that serve on their flight. It saddens me to hear that such a good crew of flight attendants and pilots died in this crash."
Sincere condolences to the families, flying partners and friends of those who perished in the Colgan Air accident.

RELATED: Click here to view all posts about Colgan Air Flt 3407 on Aircrew Buzz.