Mark Croce took up flying for personal reasons. But his passion for flight, and his willingness to share it with others, made him the envy of fellow flyers and helped capture stirring images of his community.
Croce, 58, and friend Michael Capriotto died Thursday night when the helicopter Croce was piloting crashed into the backyard of a house in Mechanicsburg, Pa.
The journey began a little more than a decade ago. In February 2009, Coleman Mellett leaned over in a car and kissed his wife, Jeanie Bryson, just outside Newark Liberty International Airport. He told her he loved her, a moment she holds onto as a gift, then left for a flight toward Buffalo and a performance of unique family meaning.
At 34, he was a guitarist for compos…
Ceremonies were held on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in Forest Lawn Cemetery and Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, in Clarence to remember the victims of Flight 3407, which crashed on Feb. 12, 2009.
When the prayers and speeches finally ended, the Families of Continental Flight 3407 gathered Tuesday in a frigid rain, on a night as bleak and wintry as the one 10 years earlier when their loved ones lost their lives.
Once again, as they have on several previous crash anniversaries, they lit electric candles and marched away from Zion Lutheran Church in Clarence toward…
"May they never be forgotten" is the mantra of the families of Flight 3407 victims. See the faces of those who died in the crash on Feb. 12, 2009.
Two children – one who was less than a year old when her mother died and her 16-year-old sister – laid a wreath before a crypt at Forest Lawn Cemetery.
Then others who suffered the same sort of loss stepped forward in the cold. One by one, 51 people each laid a carnation atop that crypt in honor of lives lost that should not have been lost 10 years and a day ago.
Buffalo Sabres winger Jason Pominville never has forgotten the phone call.
It was just after 10 p.m. on Feb. 12, 2009. Pominville's wife was out of town, and he was lounging on his couch, watching a movie. His cellphone beeped and he didn't answer. It beeped again and he noticed he had a voicemail. It was from Sabres backup goaltender Patrick Lalime. Thinking it was an …
Orphans found new homes. Families with hospitalized children found a place to stay. Teens went off to the schools of their dreams and poor children on six continents got Christmas gifts from Buffalo.
And it all happened because the Families of Continental Flight 3407 decided to turn tragedy into charity.
Ten years after that plane tumbled from the sky and crashed int…
Fifty lives ended a decade ago Tuesday when the exhausted, under-trained pilots of Continental Connection Flight 3407 blundered their way through an emergency and crashed their plane into a home in Clarence.
But on that very same day – Feb. 12, 2009 – a new era of aviation safety began.
U.S. airlines – which experienced a major crash, on average, every 17 months in t…
On the 10th anniversary of the crash of Flight 3407 in Clarence, take a look back at the coverage in The Buffalo News from the week after the event.
Find more Flight 3407 anniversary coverage here.
On the 10th anniversary of the crash of Flight 3407 in Clarence, The News' Bruce Andriatch interviews Karen Wielinski, who lost her husband and her home the night of the crash.
If the video does not appear, use this link to view it: https://www.facebook.com/TheBuffaloNews/videos/2096439870422381/
At 10:17 p.m. Feb. 12, 2009, Colgan Air Flight 3407 crashed into a house in Clarence Center, killing all 49 people on board and one person on the ground. The crash and its aftermath left a community in tears and eventually spurred national legislation making pilot training regulations more stringent.
By Karen Wielinski
The 10th anniversary of my husband Doug’s death is drawing near. The anticipation of accepting this reality grew stronger and crept into my head and heart already in the summer, as preparations had begun for a commemoration.
As always, I will share this anniversary with others. My husband and 50 other souls left this life together on Feb. 12, 2009,…
Twenty-five family members of people who died in the crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407 nearly 10 years ago Monday called for Congress to reauthorize safety standards by passing legislation this week.
The legislation that funds and keeps the Federal Aviation Administration in operation will expire Sunday.
The agency has operated under five short-term extensi…
Time and again some airline industry mouthpiece will declare that the new pilot experience requirement is too high and contributing to a pilot shortage.
The public has become accustomed to this specious claim. But when the transportation secretary makes the same statement at a public event, it takes on a more threatening tone.
Secretary Elaine Chao adopted the indust…