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

  1. #16
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    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.
    It's amazing that when piloting large aircraft (even though the CRJ is relativley small) how easy it is to lose track of situational awareness. We've all done it in our cars where we sorta zone out and end up 2 exits down the road, or we are looking for a particular street and when we get to the one that looks or feels right we turn without really looking at the street sign. And we're not processing 1/1000th of information that commerical pilots are.

    The other thing to consider is human factors and how they may have contributed to the accident. It may have "seemed" as though they taxied far enough to be at the correct rwy. It may have "felt" correct to turn left from the taxiway to the runway as that was what they were expecting. Perhaps they were looking for the newly paved runway and when they saw "dark pavement" they felt like they were in the right spot. Perhaps the PIC was in a hurry to maintain a schedule and was pushing himself to get going. Throw on top of this the ATC clearance ("hey, the tower said we were good to go, so we must be good to go) and it's a reciepe for disaster.

    Years of experience, thousands of hours of training, millions of dollars of equipment can all get sub-conciously "over-ruled" when a certian set of circumstances portrays itself to the pilot and he/she is fooled into thinking it's the correct course of action.

    It only magnifies the tradgedy when such seemingly minor events, in the face of everything designed to thwart accidents, can cause the horrific loss of life when an airliner crashes.
    Last edited by Ltlabner; 08-28-2006 at 02:54 PM.
    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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  3. #17
    Member dman's Avatar
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    Re: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    Some airports are confusing to get around at, especially those with intersecting runways. Personally, I've went as far as taking all of my airport diagrams and laminating them. Then, whenever I'm at a particualar airport, once ATC gives me taxi instructions I'll take out a red china marker and actually map out the route they gave me on my diagram. It's safe and it saves you a lot of embarrasment.

    The cockpit truly is one of the places that all the little things compound to really come back and bite you, sometimes with fatal results.
    Last edited by dman; 08-28-2006 at 03:22 PM.

  4. #18
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    Repaving along the taxiway leading to both Runway 26 and 7,000-ft. Runway 22 resulted in changes in the route the aircraft took and was completed a week prior to the accident. Airport officials were not sure if the pilot of the doomed plane had been to the airport since the taxiway changes were made. Runway 26 is used primarily for general aviation and reportedly has signs and cracked concrete that differentiate it from 22. The taxiway crosses over the shorter runway to get to the main commercial runway.
    This is a blurb from air transport world website (atwonline.com). It's plasuable that the taxiway changes caused confusion and when combined with other factors contributed to the accident.
    Last edited by Ltlabner; 08-29-2006 at 09:26 AM.
    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

  5. #19
    Joe Oliver love-child Blimpie's Avatar
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    Re: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    The NTSB is now reporting that the First Officer, who ended up being the sole survivor of the crash, was also the person in control of the aircraft at the time of the crash.

    He now remains in a coma and may possibly lose one of his legs to amputation. Should he recover from his injuries, he will have a lifetime to question why it was he who was spared from death.
    "Booing on opening day is like telling grandma her house smells like old lady."--WOY

  6. #20
    Member dman's Avatar
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    Re: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    Blimpie and Swetstop, CDR Radio from Cedarville College did a nice story on the person you knew during their Impact News segment Monday afternoon. Here is a print version of what they ran:


    Leading Volunteer for Habitat Among Plane Crash Victims
    (Lexington Herald Leader) Pat Smith, Habitat for Humanity's national volunteer of the year in 2004, was among those killed in the crash of a Comair flight headed to Atlanta Sunday morning.

    Smith, a member of Habitat for Humanity International's board of directors, was on his way back to Gulfport, Miss., on a Kentucky project that is building 13 houses on the Mississippi Gulf Coast for people displaced last year by Hurricane Katrina. Since the project launched in early August, Smith had made seven trips to Mississippi.

    Smith headed up several Habitat projects in Ghana, sponsored by his church the Cathedral of Christ the King. He also built Habitat houses in Sri Lanka and in India, where he helped the rebuilding effort of a small village leveled by the tsunami in 2004.

    Grant Phelps, executive director of Lexington Habitat, where Smith served on the board, said Smith had the vision and energy to get projects organized.

    Smith's son-in-law Steve Combs said Pat loved helping other people and inspiring others to do good works.

  7. #21
    Joe Oliver love-child Blimpie's Avatar
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    Re: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    Thanks for posting that!
    "Booing on opening day is like telling grandma her house smells like old lady."--WOY

  8. #22
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    The [NTSB] member, Deborah Hersman, said that with the load it was carrying, the plane, a Bombardier Canadair jet, would have required 3,559 feet before the nose would swing upward, according to a calculation by the manufacturer. The runway was 3,500 feet long. However, the crew may not have begun the takeoff roll from the start of the pavement.

    Ms. Hersman said the captain called for “rotation,’’ when the controls are used to lift the nose, but tire marks in the grass at the end of the runway showed the nose did not actually rise. The plane became airborne when it hit a berm 65 feet beyond the end of the runway; it struck the airport’s perimeter fence 390 feet beyond the runway, cleared a barbed wire fence about 920 feet off the end of the runway and struck trees beyond the fence.

    There were no indications that crew members applied the brakes or the thrust reversers to slow down. The time from the beginning of the takeoff roll until impact was 29 seconds, and there was no warning from the lone tower controller on duty, Ms. Hersman said.

    She also said that the runway they chose did not have its lights on; the runway they were supposed to use did have lights along the sides, although the center lights were out because it had been repaved days earlier. One of the pilots remarked during the takeoff roll that the runway lights were out, Ms. Hersman said. That would be the first indication that the crew might have known something was wrong.
    This is from airliners.net and is a reposting of a NY Times article.

    I've operated the CRJ out of KLEX many times in my career. I used to fly it for a different airline. I can vividly remember that area of the airport being very confusing. I can remember one time doing the takeoff brief and taxi checklist while taxiing out and seeing the hold short line for 26 and thinking that I had already crossed it and was holding short of 22. Upon stopping and noticing that something was amiss, I checked my airport diagram and realized that I wasn't where I thought I was. Further compounding this is the fact the KLEX tower has a habit of clearing you for takeoff on 22 before you ever reach runway 26. That intersection of taxiway A and 26 is much wider than the surrounding taxiways. The red runway threshold identification signs are for 26 are spread out quite a ways from the taxiway making them difficult to see.
    This is a blurb from the airliners.net formum from a poster claiming to be a commerical airline pilot. Take that for what it's worth.

    It seems that the picture developing is that the crew expected the correct rwy of 22 but mistakenly entered rwy 26. It was dark and rainy which made visablity poor and the chance of noticing that they were on old asphpalt (rwy 26) instead of new (rwy 22) very remote. They were expecting new and shiny runway but were on an old, dark and wet runway....but at night and when wet its very difficult to tell the difference between the two especially when in a cockpit behind the windshield.

    *IF* the tower cleared them for takeoff while they were taxing and they commenced takeoff from a rolling start they may not have had time to notice the error. Tragically, taking off from the rolling start would extend the distance needed to become airborne along with eliminating the extra time it would have allowed for cross checks on instruments and *possibly* notice the error.

    Additionally, the centerline runway lights on rwy 22 were inopperable. When they got to rwy 26 (where the side runway lights were inopperable) they may have mistaken the lack of lights for being in the correct location because that's what their brains were expecting to see. They were expecting some runway lights to be out so in the hurried atmosphere of taking off the difference between lights down the center of the runway and on the side of the runway may have been missed.
    Last edited by Ltlabner; 08-29-2006 at 05:30 PM.
    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

  9. #23
    La Dolce Vita
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    Re: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    Quote Originally Posted by dman
    Blimpie and Swetstop, CDR Radio from Cedarville College did a nice story on the person you knew during their Impact News segment Monday afternoon. Here is a print version of what they ran:


    Leading Volunteer for Habitat Among Plane Crash Victims
    (Lexington Herald Leader) Pat Smith, Habitat for Humanity's national volunteer of the year in 2004, was among those killed in the crash of a Comair flight headed to Atlanta Sunday morning.

    Smith, a member of Habitat for Humanity International's board of directors, was on his way back to Gulfport, Miss., on a Kentucky project that is building 13 houses on the Mississippi Gulf Coast for people displaced last year by Hurricane Katrina. Since the project launched in early August, Smith had made seven trips to Mississippi.

    Smith headed up several Habitat projects in Ghana, sponsored by his church the Cathedral of Christ the King. He also built Habitat houses in Sri Lanka and in India, where he helped the rebuilding effort of a small village leveled by the tsunami in 2004.

    Grant Phelps, executive director of Lexington Habitat, where Smith served on the board, said Smith had the vision and energy to get projects organized.

    Smith's son-in-law Steve Combs said Pat loved helping other people and inspiring others to do good works.
    One of the good ones. It's an awful shame. Thanks, dman.
    teach tolerance.

  10. #24
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    http://www.courier-journal.com/assets/B239280829.JPG

    Here's a link to a Lexington Courier Journal diagram showing the confusing (IMO) layout of the taxiways and runways.

    Apparently there is also some confusion over the charts the pilots were using. These are "road maps" of the different airports. They are issued with a certian effective date (such as effective from April 1 to August 31st, 2006) so they are kept up to date with all the various airport changes.

    There is some speculation that if they were using the wrong charts (especially since the taxiway changes were very new) they might have thought they were on the right runway because they "went to the end and turned left" not realizing the taxiway changes put them onto the wrong runway.

    None of this excuses the pilots from not verifying they were on the wrong runway since the absoulte responsibility for the aircraft and passengers safety rests on their shoulders. But it does go a small way in explaining why such a horrific mistake could happen.
    Last edited by Ltlabner; 08-29-2006 at 05:39 PM.
    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

  11. #25
    Joe Oliver love-child Blimpie's Avatar
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    Re: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    Hard to believe this man was able to search the wreckage all day without revealing the fact his sister was a passenger on the flight....

    Posted on Wed, Aug. 30, 2006

    Coroner did his duty knowing sister on plane
    FELT HE COULD DO MORE GOOD AT CRASH SITE THAN WORRYING
    By Jennifer Hewlett
    HERALD-LEADER STAFF WRITER


    Bill Demrow had a tough decision to make Sunday morning as he drove to meet other members of a state team who were preparing to recover bodies from the wreckage of Comair Flight 5191.

    "I had to decide in my own mind, more or less pray about it and decide, 'Do I keep going or do I turn around?' " he said yesterday.

    He kept going and later worked for hours, pulling many of the 49 victims from charred remains of the plane, knowing all the while that his sister and brother-in-law were on board.

    "I didn't tell anybody what I knew. I knew if I did they'd make me go home," said Demrow, Lincoln County's coroner for the past 26 years and a member of the Kentucky Coroner/Medical Examiner State Mass Fatality Response Team that responded to the crash.

    Bobbie Sue Demrow Benton and her husband, Jesse Clark Benton, were on their way to Aruba, a 50th birthday gift to Bobbie Sue from her husband.

    Demrow has dealt with death all his life. He and Bobbie Sue and their four other siblings grew up camping out, playing hide-and-seek and working in a Lincoln County cemetery where their father, Jake Demrow, was a grave digger.

    Bill Demrow and others in the state mass fatality response team, an elite group with about a dozen first responders from across the state, worked in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina struck.

    "We moved about 350 bodies in seven days. We were the first people to move bodies in New Orleans," he said, adding that the team got praise nationally for the job they did there.

    "You have to be able to respond, no excuses, no delay, always every time, every day."

    And so Demrow decided he had to work the Lexington plane crash scene. His fellow coroners would have done the same thing, he said.

    "I did far more good for my family doing that than I would have being back here and not knowing what was going on," he said.

    "I was actively, physically involved in the body retrieval from the wreckage. As I did that, my mind and a lot of my actions continually focused on that my sister wore braces," he said. "I was focusing on braces.

    "I never found them."

    He said that part of him hoped that his loved ones' remains were among those he took from the plane, and that another part of him hoped they weren't.

    "I know now that they were seated in Row 7," he said. He thinks some of the bodies he retrieved were in that area.

    Demrow got the call to meet team members in Frankfort about 7 a.m. Sunday and was on his way within 15 minutes. He knew his sister and brother-in-law were flying out of Lexington's Blue Grass Airport that morning, but he said, "I never made the connection in my mind."

    Demrow's wife, Debbie, did. She informed him after finding out the Bentons' flight number from their children.

    Demrow eventually did tell Mike Wilder of Perryville, deputy coordinator of the recovery team, that he had family members on the plane.

    Wilder said, "He told me real quick not to open my mouth about it, that he wanted to be there, that if it were my sister, I'd probably do the same thing.

    "He did extremely well. I worked by him all day long," Wilder said. "He was very professional all day. I have all of the admiration in the world for him. It just took a tremendous amount of courage and stamina. The conditions we were working under were just horrible."

    Demrow said his sister was a devout Christian who was "so involved in her community and church."

    "She'll be buried in the cemetery we grew up in," he said, referring to Buffalo Springs Cemetery in Stanford, where the Demrow children had helped their father with mowing and weeding.

    "We grew up very poor. We didn't have a whole lot. But everybody knew the value of work," he said.

    Demrow said he and his brother-in-law, a retired Marine, rode motorcycles together.

    On Monday, Demrow hand-carried the Bentons' dental records to the State Central Laboratory in Frankfort, where the bodies from the crash were taken, thinking it might speed up the process of identifying the Bentons' remains.

    He knew better than to ask if he could help out.

    "They wouldn't let me at that point. They already knew," he said.
    "Booing on opening day is like telling grandma her house smells like old lady."--WOY

  12. #26
    Member dman's Avatar
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    Re: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    I was at the scene of a fatal crash in Perry County in December of 2001 where the coroner's son and a lifelong friend of his son were killed. Similar situation, though not on quite as large of a scale.

  13. #27
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    Well, the transcrips of the cockpit conversations were released today. Here's a link to the transcript of the cockpit conversations from the time the pilots entered the aircaft until impact.

    There's a fair amount of non-pertinate conversation while they are starting their basic checklists. The pilot brefing at 5:56:14.0 seems non-standard and rushed to me but I don't know what the Comair SOP is so it's hard to say if this would be conisdered standard or not.

    The real nugget is at 5:56:49.9 (pg 25). The co-pilot (the one actually performing the take off at the time of the accident) makes the comment "came in the other night it was like lights are out all over the place". So it would appear that when they inadvertanly turned onto runway 26, which had no lights on the side of the runway, it may not have seemed out of place because mentally they might have expected some lights to be out.

    There's more non-pertinate conversation as the pilots prepare to taxi and while taxing. Unfortunatley, they had to taxi past the end of rwy 26 to get to the correct rwy 22. Instead of continuing, they turned left onto rwy 26. Did the non-pertinate conversation play a role in the accident? I would say yes, but to what degree (if any) will obviously be decided by the FAA.

    Experience tells me, however, that lots of extranious chatter in the cockpit is often included when the FAA atributes the cause of an accident to be, in part, due to pilot error. Non-standard procedures is another favorite for the wide ranging "pilot error" cause.

    It will still be a while before the NTSB issues their final report and the FAA assigns blame. It's such a shame that momentary lapses of concentration, while benign in most jobs, are deadly when they happen in the cockpit of a transport aircraft.
    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

  14. #28
    You know his story Redsland's Avatar
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    Re: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    It's such a shame that momentary lapses of concentration, while benign in most jobs, are deadly when they happen in the cockpit of a transport aircraft.
    That is the absolute truth.

    I remember an occasion twenty or thirty years ago in which a pilot decided to use the lavatory, which was not a problem, since the plane was on autopilot. So the pilot takes his headset off, gets up, and puts his headset down in such a way as to accidentally and unknowingly click off the autopilot. Then he left the flight deck. At that point the plane began to slowly lose altitude, and you can guess the rest. (Reassuring note: this can't happen anymore.)

    Sometimes pilots land just fine but forget to deploy the spoilers and fail to stop before running off the end of the runway, across a busy highway, and into a gas station.

    Sometimes pilots get cleared to use the left-hand runway of a parallel pair, but line up on the right one instead. When the right one is closed for repairs and littered with construction equipment, your takeoff roll becomes bumpy indeed.

    I was reading just last week about a commercial carrier that landed--not on the assigned runway--but on a parallel taxiway. If any car, truck, bus, plane, or worker had happened to be anywhere along that entire mile-plus-long stretch of pavement, the results would have been tragic.

    In the case under discussion here, a simple glance at the compass prior to takeoff might have averted disaster.

    Such small lapses. Right vs. left. A single missed item on a very long checklist. If I forget milk, big deal. If you forget flaps...

    And the thing is, once things start going south, there is often very little time to correct the problem before a cascade effect kicks in. Pilots don't usually have 40 minutes to troubleshoot a runaway trim tab, for example. Fortunately, experience and training prevent many of these occurances from taking place or getting out of hand. But not always.
    Makes all the routine posts.

  15. #29
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    Quote Originally Posted by Redsland View Post
    Such small lapses. Right vs. left. A single missed item on a very long checklist. If I forget milk, big deal. If you forget flaps...

    Fortunately, experience and training prevent many of these occurances from taking place or getting out of hand. But not always.
    I am facinated by the human factors elements in commerical airline accidents. While it's usually a chain of events that leads to the disaster, the chain is often constructed of small, insignicant events that by themselves can't bring down an airliner.

    Airline disasters are repleate with crew members bringing their habbits, personality types, prejudices, preconcieved notions and failings to the cockpit.

    A captain is used to taking off without clearance because he spends most of his time in a simulator and two 747's slam into each other. A crew has transposed their cordinates on their flight planning computer and expects to be in place A instead of place B. Because B "looks" like A they convince themselves that are ok and drive a DC-10 into the side of a mountain. A tiny lightbulb burns out and distracts the crew which desposits their L-1011 in the everglades. Landing gear indicators don't go off and a different crew runs their DC-8 out of gas trying to identify the problem.

    The real shame of the Comair 5191 accident is the captain, who presumidly had the experience to guide his first-officer and keep him out of trouble, was seemingly distracted by his running monologe about non-pertinate matters.
    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

  16. #30
    This one's for you Edd Heath's Avatar
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    Re: Say a prayer for those killed in the plane crash...

    Checking the map of Blue Grass Airport - one is wondering if the shortened runway will be extended as part of an FAA "grant" to "upgrade" the facilities.
    Some people play baseball. Baseball plays Jay Bruce.


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