In media accounts of the Colgan 3407 cockpit voice recording, there is this little snippet that is both tragic and ironic:
Seven minutes later, [Captain Marvin] Renslow complained of the ice that was forming on the plane’s windshield and wings.
“That’s the most I’ve seen … most ice I’ve seen on the leading edges in a long time,” Renslow said.
A moment later, the co-pilot, Rebecca Lynn Shaw, complained of her own inexperience.
“I’ve never seen icing conditions,” she said. “I’ve never de-iced. I’ve never seen any. I’ve never experienced any of that. I don’t want to have to experience that and make those kinds of calls. You know I’d ‘ve freaked out. I’d have like seen this much ice and thought oh my gosh we were going to crash.”
Moments later, the crew lowered the plane’s flaps and landing gear, and the plane quickly encountered trouble.
— Jerry Zremski. ” Pilot: ‘Most icing I’ve seen’; Co-pilot: ‘I’ve never de-iced.’ “, Buffalo News, May 12th, 2009.
Maybe sometimes it’s best to go with your gut reaction.