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Thread: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

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    Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    Very tragic, I'm sure the families of those affected could use a prayer.

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    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    Absolutely. A terrible and tragic accident.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

    John Wooden

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    Joe Oliver love-child Blimpie's Avatar
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    Re: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    I am glad that somebody started a thread on this event. Being as though the majority of the victims were also residents of Lexington, yesterday was a very tough day for this community.

    Although Comair has yet to release an official flight manifest, many of the victim names have been released to the media. Personally, I have learned that one of the victims is a man that I previously worked with. He was on his way to the Gulf Coast with Habitat to build 17 houses for Katrina survivors.

    This was a complete tragedy that should have been imminently preventable.
    Last edited by Blimpie; 08-28-2006 at 11:30 AM.
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    Re: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    I have to believe that some air traffic controller's head is gonna' roll from this one. I read on the news that the airplane took off from the wrong runway. Though this could've potentially been a pilot error, it is ultimately the controller's responsibilty to make sure that the airplane is where it's supposed to be before clearing them for takeoff.

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    Re: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    Quote Originally Posted by Blimpie
    I am glad that somebody started a thread on this event. Being as though the majority of the victims were also residents of Lexington, yesterday was a very tough day for this community.

    Although Comair has yet to release an official flight manifest, many of the victim names have been released to the media. Personally, I have learned that one of the victims is a man that I previously worked with . He was on his way to the Gulf Coast with Habitat to build 17 houses for Katrina survivors.

    This was a complete tragedy that should have been imminently preventable.

    My husband went to high school w/ and knew well the man you mentioned.
    teach tolerance.

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    Joe Oliver love-child Blimpie's Avatar
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    Re: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetstop
    My husband went to high school w/ and knew well the man you mentioned.
    Then your husband knows exactly what I mean when I say this:

    Certain people die before their time and that is truly unfair. That being said, it should not have been Pat Smith's time to die. He was doing too many things for far too needy people. Of course, the way Pat looked at it, they weren't 'needy' people--they were just people who deserved it.
    "Booing on opening day is like telling grandma her house smells like old lady."--WOY

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    Joe Oliver love-child Blimpie's Avatar
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    Re: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    Quote Originally Posted by dman
    I have to believe that some air traffic controller's head is gonna' roll from this one. I read on the news that the airplane took off from the wrong runway. Though this could've potentially been a pilot error, it is ultimately the controller's responsibilty to make sure that the airplane is where it's supposed to be before clearing them for takeoff.
    dman: I know you have quite a bit of aviation knowledge so I will defer to your judgement in the most general sense.

    However, the transcriptions of the cockpit voice recorder will eventually reveal that the Comair pilot was only cleared to takeoff from the longer (7,000 FT) runway that morning. My question to you is this: After clearance is granted, are most ATCs actually required to make a VISUAL confirmation that the flight is doing what they were actually confirmed to do? If so, what does one do when the visibility is so limited that early in the morning? This shorter runway was almost exclusively used for general aviation flights that filed VFRs.

    At that time of the morning, there was only one tower controller (as per the norm). Speculation is that once he/she cleared 5191 for takeoff, he/she began communications with other aircraft that were preparing to depart. Even IF he/she were able to ascertain that the flight was departing on the shorter (3,500 FT), I am not so sure that the pilot could have been notified with ample time to abort takeoff.
    Last edited by Blimpie; 08-28-2006 at 12:39 PM.
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    Re: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    Just when I was about 90% sure that award show producers were clueless nitwits who were out of touch with reality, somebody had to go out and seal the deal for me....There was literally no lapse in time separating the crash story coverage on our local NBC affiliate from the "Lost" gag that opened the Emmy broadcast. Simply unbelievable.

    http://www.kentucky.com/mld/kentucky/15378425.htm

    Emmys plane-crash spoof left LEX 18 manager 'horrified'
    By Jamie Gumbrecht
    HERALD-LEADER CULTURE WRITER


    LEX 18 News ended an evening recap of yesterday's coverage of the Comair Flight 5191 crash for the live broadcast of the prime-time Emmy Awards. The annual TV awards show opened with shots of host Conan O'Brien bouncing inside a plane before it crashed on an island in a spoof of ABC's hit show Lost.

    WLEX president and general manager Tim Gilbert, who was home watching the telecast with his family, said he was "stunned" by the introduction; if station managers had known about the intro before the broadcast, Lexington viewers wouldn't have seen it, he said.

    "It was a live telecast -- we were completely helpless," Gilbert said of the Emmys. "By the time we began to react, it was over. At the station, we were as horrified as they were at home."

    He said he'll complain to NBC, but he said an apology won't make up for insensitivity.

    "They could have killed the opening and it wouldn't have hurt the show at all," Gilbert said. "We wish somebody had thought this through. It's somewhere between ignorance and incompetence."
    "Booing on opening day is like telling grandma her house smells like old lady."--WOY

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    Re: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    I *think* ATC has to confirm that an aircraft they are clearing for takeoff is, in fact, on the correct runway when they issue the "cleared for takeoff" command. Bluegrass field is pretty small and IIRC the tower has a clear view of the ends of both runways in question. So they could have easily accertained the aircraft was on rwy 26 (which was unlit) instead of rwy 22 (which is fully lighted) visually as the weather was reported as "clear". But aiport enviornments can be very confusing at night with the large number of lights, signs and other information one has to absorb, process and act on (even at a relativley small field like LEX).

    OTOH, ATC may have issued clearance for takeoff while the aircraft was taxiing and ATC *possibly* didn't assure that the aircraft was in the correct position on the airfield. ATC may have also issued a clearance to take off that did not require the Pilot in Command to "taxi in position and hold" (meaning the aircraft moves onto the rwy, comes to a complete stop and waits for hte next ATC command) which isn't unrealistic since the airport would have had minimal traffic movements at that time. The PIC may have elected to roll from the taxiway onto the runway and commence the takeoff without any hesitation. Thus, the ATC would not have had time to notice the error if their attentions were elsewhere.

    At the end of the day, however, the PIC has absoulte responsibity to ensure the safety of his aircraft prior to any manuver. If ATC says "dive your aircraft into the ground" the PIC can choose to ignore the command.

    Rwy 26 is both unlit and is only 75' wide as opposed to rwy 22 which is 150' wide and lighted. So some visual cues, even though it was dark, were available to the crew to help them realize something was amiss. But again, it was dark, raining and there may have been other factors possibly distracting the crew all culminating in them pulling onto rwy 26 instead of rwy 22. The entry point of both rwys are fairly close to each other so it may have "seemed" like they had taxied far enough to be on the correct runway.

    My guess is this accident, like most, is the result of a chain of events that culminated in the tragic loss of life. If the ATC wasn't taking a smoke break, if the co-pilot wasn't timid, if the pilot wasn't dislexic, if a flock of birds didn't distract the crew, etc etc. (that's just an example, not the facts in question).

    BTW, I am NOT a pilot nor pretend to be. So I don't claim that all of the above is correct information, just my best understanding.
    Last edited by Ltlabner; 08-28-2006 at 12:10 PM.
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    Re: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    Quote Originally Posted by Blimpie
    Just when I was about 90% sure that award show producers were clueless nitwits who were out of touch with reality, somebody had to go out and seal the deal for me....There was literally no lapse in time separating the crash story coverage on our local NBC affiliate from the "Lost" gag that opened the Emmy broadcast. Simply unbelievable.

    http://www.kentucky.com/mld/kentucky/15378425.htm
    What's even more stunning and insensitive is that the "Lost" plane crash occurred over two years ago on the show. Even since then it's been about living on the island. It was totally unnecessary to portray the plane crash as part of any sort of gag.

    I'm just heartbroken over this. I was reading articles this morning about how the incorrect runway had cracks in it and was not properly lit. I'm wondering if the pilot simply couldn't see things at that hour of the morning.

    Some of the stories are so incredibly sad. Apparently a couple on the plane just got married the night before. A father going to see his kids. It really really hits home.

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    Re: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    Quote Originally Posted by letsgojunior
    What's even more stunning and insensitive is that the "Lost" plane crash occurred over two years ago on the show. Even since then it's been about living on the island. It was totally unnecessary to portray the plane crash as part of any sort of gag.

    I'm just heartbroken over this. I was reading articles this morning about how the incorrect runway had cracks in it and was not properly lit. I'm wondering if the pilot simply couldn't see things at that hour of the morning.

    Some of the stories are so incredibly sad. Apparently a couple on the plane just got married the night before. A father going to see his kids. It really really hits home.
    That would be John Hooker and his new wife Scarlett. He was a former pitcher for the University of Kentucky. He also signed a FA contract with the White Sox a few years back prior to calling it quits and settling down.

    Brandon Webb was his roommate while at UK and learned about the accident from Keith Madison (former UK baseball coach) who had attended the wedding some 12 hours before the crash occurred.
    "Booing on opening day is like telling grandma her house smells like old lady."--WOY

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    Re: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner
    I *think* ATC has to confirm that an aircraft they are clearing for takeoff is, in fact, on the correct runway when they issue the "cleared for takeoff" command. Bluegrass field is pretty small and IIRC the tower has a clear view of the ends of both runways in question. So they could have easily accertained the aircraft was on rwy 26 (which was unlit) instead of rwy 22 (which is fully lighted) visually as the weather was reported as "clear". But aiport enviornments can be very confusing at night with the large number of lights, signs and other information one has to absorb, process and act on (even at a relativley small field like LEX).

    OTOH, ATC may have issued clearance for takeoff while the aircraft was taxiing and ATC *possibly* didn't assure that the aircraft was in the correct position on the airfield. ATC may have also issued a clearance to take off that did not require the Pilot in Command to "taxi in position and hold" (meaning the aircraft moves onto the rwy, comes to a complete stop and waits for hte next ATC command) which isn't unrealistic since the airport would have had minimal traffic movements at that time. The PIC may have elected to roll from the taxiway onto the runway and commence the takeoff without any hesitation. Thus, the ATC would not have had time to notice the error.

    At the end of the day, however, the PIC has absoulte responsibity to ensure the safety of his aircraft prior to any manuver. If ATC says "dive your aircraft into the ground" the PIC can choose to ignore the command.

    Rwy 26 is both unlit and is only 75' wide as opposed to rwy 22 which is 150' wide and lighted. So some visual cues, even though it was dark, were available to the crew to help them realize something was amiss.

    My guess is this accident, like most, is the result of a chain of events that culminated in the tragic loss of life. If the ATC wasn't taking a smoke break, if the co-pilot wasn't timid, if the pilot wasn't dislexic, if a flock of birds didn't distract the crew, etc etc. (that's just an example, not the facts in question).

    BTW, I am NOT a pilot nor pretend to be. So I don't claim that all of the above is correct information, just my best understanding.
    I know that there are several safeguards that are in place to ensure that the pilot does not enter the wrong runway. Even the runway numbers correspond with the actual "heading" of the departure--which is always supposed to be one of the final pilot confirmations prior to "throttling up."

    To further frustrate things, all of the longer runway (22) and part of the shorter runway (26) had just finished being resurfaced last week. In an effort to improve safety, one of the main (previously used) taxiways was no longer in use after this reconstruction because that area was now designated as a safety buffer zone. Because of this redesign, the pilot was asked to take a different route to enter the longer runway. Officials seem to think that this MAY have added to pilot confusion perhaps. Nevertheless, all runway identifications were newly placed with bright thermoplastic markings. Lights were all working in areas where there were installed (because runway 26 was mostly used for general aviation, it did not have the same amount of lights on it than did runway 22).

    Until the CVR transcripts are released, we will never know the precise factors that led to this very experienced pilot erring on such a fatal decision.
    Last edited by Blimpie; 08-28-2006 at 12:43 PM.
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    Re: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    Until the CVR transcripts are released, we will never know the precise factors that led to this very experienced pilot erring on such a fatal decision.
    Yes, it's usally a chain of events, instead of one sigular event that casues things to go horribly wrong like this.

    Very, very sad.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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    Re: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    Blimpie, Yes, ATC is "supposed" to make sure that the airplane that they cleared to taxi, take-off, or whatever they assigned for them to do are in fact doing it. Also, air carrier operators such as Comair, Delta etc. have different air-crews going in and out of , often times, unfamiliar airports. For that reason the FAA produces Airport Facility Directories (AFD's) which give Taxiway and Airport digrams. My guess would be that the winds were out of the southwest yesterday at LEX, so runways 22 and 26 would've been in use, and the tower would have had a clear view of both. Runway 22 was likely the assigned runway. It's very possible that the pilot came upon Runway 26 and thought that was Runway 22 instead. This is where it falls on the ATC folks. Before they actually give that aircraft clearance to takeoff, it was on them to make sure Comair 5191 was at the correct runway.
    It's a two-way deal in situations like this. ATC issues instructions and the pilots read back the ATC's instructions for ATC to verify that the pilots do understand the instructions as given by ATC. Also, if a pilot becomes confused in an unfamiliar airport, ATC is more than willing to give "progressive taxi" to a pilot, meaning that they will give them turn by turn instructions to get them to their assigned runway, taxiway, or terminal parking area/gate. I've attached an airport diagram of Lexington to illustrate. It really isn't a hard airport to get around at.

    KLEX.pdf
    Last edited by dman; 08-28-2006 at 12:52 PM.

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    Joe Oliver love-child Blimpie's Avatar
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    Re: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    Quote Originally Posted by dman
    Blimpie, Yes, ATC is "supposed" to make sure that the airplane that they cleared to taxi, take-off, or whatever they assigned for them to do are in fact doing it. Also, air carrier operators such as Comair, Delta etc. have different air-crews going in and out of , often times, unfamiliar airports. For that reason the FAA produces Airport Facility Directories (AFD's) which give Taxiway and Airport digrams. My guess would be that the winds were out of the southwest yesterday at LEX, so runways 22 and 26 would've been in use, and the tower would have had a clear view of both. Runway 22 was likely the assigned runway. It's very possible that the pilot came upon Runway 26 and thought that was Runway 22 instead. This is where it falls on the ATC folks. Before they actually give that aircraft clearance to takeoff, it was on them to make sure Comair 5191 was at the correct runway.
    It's a two-way deal in situations like this. ATC issues instructions and the pilots read back the ATC's instructions for ATC to verify that the pilots do understand the instructions as given by ATC. Also, if a pilot becomes confused in an unfamiliar airport, ATC is more than willing to give "progressive taxi" to a pilot, meaning that they will give them turn by turn instructions to get them to their assigned runway, taxiway, or terminal parking area/gate. I've attached an airport diagram of Lexington to illustrate. It really isn't a hard airport to get around at.

    KLEX.pdf
    Thanks for that, dman. I was kinda curious about the tower/pilot protocol--for lack of a better phrase. Because the recent reconstruction had altered the former taxiway route from the terminal to runway 22, the FAA had attempted to alleviate some of the potential pitfalls...apparently to no avail:

    http://www.kentucky.com/mld/kentucky/15378428.htm


    Posted on Mon, Aug. 28, 2006
    Federal officials confirm pilot did not use correct runway
    By Jim Warren, Beth Musgrave And Brandon Ortiz
    HERALD-LEADER STAFF WRITERS


    Federal authorities confirmed last night that preliminary information from a downed Comair jet showed the pilot took off from the wrong runway, causing the plane to crash near Blue Grass Airport yesterday.

    Debbie Hersman, a National Transportation Safety Board member, said yesterday that "ground scars," or marks made by the plane as it crashed, and information from the cockpit voice recorder indicated that Delta Comair Flight 5191, which crashed shortly after 6 a.m. yesterday, took off on Runway 26, which is for use by smaller aircraft.

    Hersman said yesterday that information obtained by the NTSB indicated that the pilot was cleared to take off on Runway 22, which is 7,000 feet long and designed for passenger jets. Runway 26 is only 3,500 feet long

    Information obtained by the NTSB so far gave "reference to 22" alone, Hersman said.

    Hersman said yesterday that the investigation was still in its early stages and that the investigative teams will be breaking up into smaller groups to analyze all aspects of this accident, one of the largest aviation accidents in Kentucky history. The plane's voice and data recorders were recovered and sent to Washington, D.C., yesterday.

    Investigators were able to pull more than 32 minutes of voice recording from the cockpit recorder and were also able to mine information from the flight data recorder, which tracks information about the plane's movements.

    The investigation is likely to focus on how and why the pilot took the wrong runway.

    Blue Grass Airport recently went through a major repaving project, including all of runway 22 and portions of runway 26 where 22 and 26 intersect. Some pilots familiar with the airport also questioned whether there were enough air traffic controllers in the tower at 6 a.m.

    Others raised questions about whether the plane's crew had enough sleep before take-off. The crew spent Saturday night in Lexington, said a spokeswoman from Comair. But she declined to say when crew members arrived or disclose the time of their last flight, saying that information was part of the federal investigation.

    Airport officials said yesterday that they did not think that the new construction played a part in yesterday's accident. Blue Grass Airport's control tower was manned and in operation when the crash occurred at 6:07 a.m., said Mike Gobb, the airport's executive director.

    Gobb said he didn't know how many people were on duty in the tower, but a Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman said that only one controller normally would be working at that time of day.

    It was still relatively dark when the crash occurred.

    Kathleen Bergen, an FAA spokeswoman, said the control tower was not required to have more staffing. She said there are virtually no flights from 3:30 to 5:30 a.m., and typically only 13 between 5:30 and 6:30 a.m. "Traffic is extremely light," she said.

    Gobb declined to speculate whether the tower would have been able to quickly determine that the plane was using the wrong runway. But many pilots said yesterday that one person in the tower might have been too busy to notice the problem.

    David Katzman, airline transport pilot and an attorney in Michigan, said the control tower should have also had a ground controller guiding the airplanes.

    "That single controller could be doing a lot of things," said Katzman, who has flown his personal jet into Blue Grass Airport. "... If they had one controller, they are short one."

    Bergen said yesterday it will probably be several weeks before she can release the air traffic control recordings, which will provide answers to many lingering questions.

    Gobb said the taxiing patterns were changed as a result of the new safety areas that Blue Grass Airport installed at both ends of the main runway.

    One key change involved the closure of a small section of "Taxiway Alpha" that large planes previously had used to reach the end of the main runway nearest Versailles Road for takeoff. That taxiway section was closed Aug. 20, Gobb said. With the closure, planes were using a somewhat different route, executing a left-hand turn from another point on Taxiway Alpha to reach the main runway.

    But, according to Gobb, the airport has a number of systems in place to direct pilots to the proper runways. He said these include blue and white lights which designate taxiways and active runways, signs, numbers and pavement markings.

    Gobb also said pilots had been informed of the recent changes in taxiway routing at Blue Grass Airport. In addition, there is an automated radio system that pilots can tune to get such information.


    Paul Czysz, professor emeritus of aerospace engineering at Saint Louis University, said that, based on pictures he had seen, the Comair jet would have been unable to gain enough altitude to clear the trees taking off from the 3,500-foot runway, and would have needed at least 5,200 feet to take off properly. Czysz said the plane would have just been lifting off the ground when the runway ended.

    "Once he crossed the main runway and saw what the heck was going on, he probably knew he didn't have enough distance to stop," Czysz said. "The only thing you can do then is try to take off.

    "Sometimes with the intersecting runways, pilots go down the wrong one," Czysz added. "It doesn't happen very often."

    Pilots said yesterday that instruments should have shown the pilot that he was on the wrong runway. Names for runways are derived from compass indicators. When the plane prepared for takeoff from runway 26, its indicator would have read 260 degrees, 40 degrees off the correct course of runway 22.

    Checking that compass indicator is the last thing a pilot does before takeoff, said Katzman, the lawyer from Michigan.

    Once the pilots realized they were on the runway, it was probably too late for them to do anything, Katzman said. They had two options: slide off the runway or take to the air at too slow a speed.

    "It's not a runway anybody ever thinks this airplane is going to be on," Katzman said.

    Dr. Ray Garman, a student pilot and a former airport board member, noted that the numbers on the runways are large.

    "It would be very hard to confuse them," Garman said.

    According to FlightAware, an aviation Web site, this is not the first time a pilot has gotten confused at Blue Grass Airport. In 1993, an airline pilot reported that he almost took off from Runway 26 but the tower caught the error and canceled the takeoff. In an entry on FlightAware's Web site the pilot reported "poor visibility" and a "confusing runway intersection."
    Last edited by Blimpie; 08-28-2006 at 01:01 PM.
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