Skip to comments.Plane Crashes in Lexington
Posted on 08/27/2006 4:38:10 AM PDT by BigBlueJonEdited on 08/27/2006 5:02:21 AM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]
Possible plane crash in Lexington, KY. My brother works security for Lexington UK Hospital and was just called in. No news locally or on major news outlets yet. I didn't want to post anything for fear of being wrong, but he's still waiting for an official call while on stand-by.
Update from WTVQ 36 Lexington:
A plane has crashed near the Blue Grass Airport this morning. No word on details at this time. We are told it was a commercial aircraft. Versailles Road is blocked as emergency vehicles circle around the site. We have live coverage beginning at 7:20am. Stay with Action News 36 for more details.
I used to pilot these planes years ago. The engines were pretty reliable, from an operator's standpoint, anyway. The MFD overheated easily, but I'm sure that wasn't an issue in the morning. I didn't care for the braking system -- seemed inadequate.
Fully loaded with gas, passengers and luggage, and on a short runway, it could be a scary takeoff, even when things went right.
Prayers for the victims and possible survivor. Hopefully he can shed light on what happened...
I have a terrible sinking feeling that this was not a 'natural' accident, but that someONE caused it (probably those Norwegian Amish people!!)--it will be interesting to see the passenger manifest...pass the tin foil, but it sure does seem that lately there has been an unusual rash of airplane indidents--too many to be simply 'coinkydink', if you know what I mean! Possible feelers into the American airlines, looking for weaknesses and exploiting them if possible?
Weather wise, local TV is showing a small thunderstorm close to the airport right around 6am this morning. Said that they took off under VFR conditions.
My pals in Perth, West Australia like to tell about the Garuda (Indonesian...horrible reputation) international flight tried to land on the highway outside of the airport - the pilot thought it was the runway.
The local news outlets could not take off due to the crash. The airport was shut down and they couldn't get to the helicopters or planes. Louisville's WAVE 3 had a chopper in the area but the airspace was restricted.
Someone just speculated on Fox News that the plane was partially intact and that the pilot may have been able to land the plane. The explosion was possibly after ground contact, and not immediately on impact.
There is absolutely NOTHING to suggest this is terrorism. This plane crashed half a mile from the runway.
Take off the tin-foil hats, guys.
From Post 11.....
Runway 8/26 Dimensions: 3500 x 75 ft. / 1067 x 23 m Surface: asphalt/concrete, in poor condition CONC IS SEVERELY CRACKED. Weight bearing capacity: Single wheel: 12500 lbs
My dentist also is a dental examiner and one of my dad's closest friends.
Live video: Not much left of the fuselage. Looks like the pilots thought they had a chance to find a flat surface on the top of the hill and skidded very briefly, but tangled up into a thin treeline. The engines are sitting in a small rainwash gulley that the treeline borders, and only the cockpit and a bit of additional fuselage remain lying on their side.
It is hard to tell, but it seems like runway 26 points towards a hillside.
A CRJ may not have been able to climb out over that.
All indications point to the fact that the pilot took off on the wrong runway. His name, I believe, is Jeff Hays. Doesn't sound like your run of the mill terrorist.
If you can understand that guys drivel, you must be one of those characters that can find the visage of the Virgin Mary on a slice of mushroom pizza.
At a normal takeoff speed and climb rate, there would be no problem making it over that hill.
I don't know if they carry only the fuel they need (plus reserves) for each leg, or they fill up at the beginning of the day and just use it as they go back and forth. A CRJ can carry well over 1,000 gallons of jet fuel...if it was fully fueled, there's not going to be much left of it after that gets through burning.
But they would not have achieved normal takeoff speed with the shorter runway.
You're up early today. My friend just emailed me to say that her daughter wasn't on the plane. I'm so grateful. That was the first I heard of it. Wasn't even on Drudge. I tipped him though... Thank me.
Like I said, just a gut feeling! Too many 'dots not connected' with all these recent problems with planes!
Also reported that the survivor was another pilot utilitzing the jump seat to get to Atlanta.
Have the said the pilots name yet, the survivor?
(AP) -- Comair President Don Bornhorst has told a news briefing he cannot confirm a report the plane that crashed this morning in Lexington could have been using the wrong runway.
Blue Grass Airport Executive Director Mike Gobb said earlier this morning that the airport's shorter, 3,500 foot runway, should not have been used for the loaded Comair flight. It has not been officially reported that the shorter runway was used.
Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn says it will be several hours before the bodies of the victims of this morning's plane crash near Lexington's airport are removed. At least 49 died. One survivor is reported in critical condition at the UK Hospital.
The Comair flight bound for Atlanta crashed a half-mile from the end of a runway just after departting Lexington at 6:10 eastern time this morning.
A full flight is not overloaded. All aircraft have very generous safety margins built-in.
Every seat occupied is no less safe than 1/2 full.
Just talked to pilot who frequently flies out of Bluegrass Airport (non-commercial).
He says it is a bit confusing and he could see how mistake made by pilot, especially during early morning hours. However, not sure why ATC did not provide warning.
Looks to be pilot error at this point.
Prayers for all who lost loved ones.
Well, it's all speculation, but the pilots could have realized at the last second they were running out of pavement and rotated, and the plane have enough momentum to "bunny hop" into the air before stalling and dropping again. If they only made it a half mile, at takeoff speed they'd cover that distance in 15-20 seconds or less. Fully loaded, they'd have no chance to get it off the ground in 3500 feet and keep it in the air.
It probably hit something at a fairly flat angle or in a slight descent (tail low), it wouldn't have had the time or the room to drop the nose a whole lot, I'd imagine. If it crashed in a field, though, and didn't plow through a lot of trees, I'm somewhat surprised there weren't more survivors, even with a massive postcrash fire.
Flight crews are human and they do make mistakes.
Sometimes, like all of us, flight crews rush to get through the day.
I wonder where this flight crew was based and what their schedule for the day was going to be. That may support or deny my theory of a rush-job.
I believe you have the scenario correct.
I am also curious with regard to the passengers being able to escape.
I can only imagine a scenario where the impact jammed all four doors on the plane, trapping everyone.
Yep. Basically the same airframe as the CV-240/340/440 series, but either converted to or built as turboprop. The company I used to work for had (probably still has) one for conducting flight tests of various electronic systems. I participated in a series of data collection flights to prove some new (to us anyway) radar signal processing technologies. I started out as the "navigator". I had written a program to calculate an IP and "fly to point" given our altitude, airspeed and wind speed and direction, that would result in our pointing the fixed radar at the desired target area. Originally they were going to implement the algorithm on the test equipments computer, but instead I ended up running it on a laptop sitting in a passenger type seat just behind the cockpit. The nav system operator would read me the winds from the last pass, I'd run the program (which I'd pre loaded with other parameters, and I'd read off the IP and fly-to for the flight crew to input into their separate (but FAA certified) nav system.
Due to other folks getting pulled off for higher priority tasks, I ended up as the flight test engineer on the later flights. Didn't mean anything, the techs knew what they were doing without me telling them. This was all about 10 or 12 years ago.
I have no doubt they were rested.
However, I have personally witnessed (and chastised) flight crews rushing to depart from a particular airport.
FoxNews is too focused on the engines. They are ignoring the short runway senario.
The problem with 24/hr news channels is they have to fill air time and they usually do that by just blathering on and on. The airhead newsreaders come up with their own "brilliant" hypothesis.
It's maddening to watch so I don't.
The flight crew aren't going to be the only ones with things to answer for here. If the tower was manned, and since the weather was clear (6 mile visibility), I'm going to be interested to find out what the tower controller(s) were doing. I know the final responsibility is always with the captain and flight crew, but I do wonder if an observant tower controller (especially at a low-traffic time like 0600) could have seen Comair 191 turning onto the wrong runway and advised them of the mistake.
You make a great point! The tower is partially responsible for the mistake (if that is what happened).
Unfortunately, the final report will blame pilot error.
I've heard the visibility mentioned at 8 miles several times--doesn't sound like the weather caused this to happen!
Pilot error or 'pile o' terror'?
YEP, RJ's "give more options to the traveller," OR so the airline exec will tell you. You can offer 3 departure times, versus just one, if you're operating a 737 out of a smaller airport. RJs also cheaper to fly and maintain -- you can keep the seats full and you PAY the pilots a LOT less. I HATE travelling as a PASSENGER in an RJ -- too cramped, bumpy and hot.
Second question: If it was overloaded would it go in tail first and leave the pilot as the survivor?
As a pilot, this sounds like a crash you'd prefer -- if any. Tail hits first, then nose, then breakup and with any luck, the hardened cockpit area and 5-point seat harness will help protect you in a roll. There's plenty of front crewmembers who have survived throughout aviation history, when passengers did not. Survivor's Guilt is a problem later, but at least they're alive.
Aviation's a risky business, but then again, so is driving on the road.
Looks like the wrong runway.
I thought the NTSB forms all had "pilot error" already filled in. :)
Seriously, I'm not a pilot, but I'm having trouble understanding how this mistake could be made, assuming there's proper signs at the taxiway/runway intersections, that they looked at the airport diagram during taxi, that the pilots actually looked at their gyro/compass, any number of other things. But we're humans, and we're fallible...and we'll have to wait for the NTSB to get to work to get to the bottom of it.
If this was a case of taking off on the wrong runway, the next question is how long was this crew's layover last night? Were they rested? Did they do a standing overnight with 3 or 4 hours in the hotel before being run back out to the jet?
Using Google earth, the crash site is .24 miles off the end of runway 8/26 (shorter one). Local news is starting to get some unofficial
I was. Woke up early, and flipped on the radio.
Drudge is SO yesterday. (Gargle)
Everytime I attend an FAA Safety Seminar, the speaker (usually a controller) always mentions the fact that "If I screw up..., I feel bad but, at least I GO HOME..., YOU MAY NOT BE SO LUCKY!"