The National Transportation Safety Board released pre-flight transcripts from Flight 3407, the fatal flight from Newark that crashed near its destination of Buffalo in February, and it turns out that co-pilot Rebecca Shaw was in fact sick. She told pilot Marvin Renslow, while sniffling, "I'm ready to be in the hotel room. This is one of those times that if I felt like this when I was at home there's no way I would have come all the way out here. But now that I'm out here," to which Renslow said, "You might as well [fly]." Forty-nine people on the plane were killed; one person on the ground was killed.
According to the FAA, sick pilots aren't supposed to fly and that the captain is supposed to stop them. Shaw also complained about her first year salary of $15,800; she had commuted from Seattle to her base in Newark. The Buffalo News reports, "Shaw then implied that she was reluctant to call in sick because she would have had to pay for a hotel room in Newark. And she said of Colgan Air, which operated the Continental flight, "I feel like Colgan walks all over me. This company treats me like crap so much,” offering that she was trying to get $200 in back pay.
Shaw had taken a red-eye flight from Seattle to Newark, but had text messaged her husband, "I feel soooo good, I took a nice six-hour nap on the comfy recliner!" apparently from the Colgan Air lounge at Newark. Shaw's and Renslow's mental faculties are in question, because it's believed pilot error to the crash. The Buffalo News notes, "Shaw, who was responsible for monitoring the plane’s speed, allowed the Dash 8 Q400 to slow to the point where the stall warning system activated. And Renslow reacted improperly to the stall, pulling back on the plane’s yoke when he should have pushed it forward to gain speed."