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Comair 5191

NTSB: Neither Pilot Mentioned “Toledo”

09/09/2006: The NTSB is clarifying the accounts given by some of the Comair 5191 families. It appears that this is a case of he-said/they-said. Neither of the two pilots of the ill-fated Comair 5191 flight mentioned “Toledo”. Nor did either of the pilots call out the wrong flight number.

FAA Directive: Check Your Heading Indicator

09/08/2006: The FAA has issued a safety alert, instructing pilots to “confirm that the aircraft is actually positioned on the assigned runway by reference to the heading indicator.” (Emphasis mine) You can bet that this is a tacit admission of the obvious: The Comair 5191 disaster was pilot error.

(un)Holy Toledo??? Comair 5191 Pilot Called Wrong Flight Number and Destination???

09/08/2006: The NTSB needs to get a better handle on its dissemination of information. Up until now, I thought Debbie Hersman had been doing a fabulous job keeping the public informed of the NTSB’s findings with respect to the Comair 5191 crash. Now, however, a family member of one of the victims is indicating that […]

Comair Flight 5191: Media Still Swinging at Air

09/06/2006: Here is another case of the news media being a bunch of flaming idiots. The control tower staffing issues at Bluegrass Airport are worth pursuing, if only to prevent runway or midair collisions. The airport maintenance issues are also worth pursuing, if only to minimize the probability of related mishaps. But make no mistake: […]

Comair Flight 5191: Media is Swinging at Air

08/31/2006: If Comair Flight 5191 had been involved in a midair collision, then the fact that the air traffic controller was operating on two hours of sleep–and was operating alone–would be pertinent. Those are matters that should be investigated in order to prevent midair collisions and related mishaps that air traffic controllers are supposed to […]

Technology Should Complement–not Substitute–a Real Professional

David Warner of Prospect, Kentucky, raises some good points in today’s Louisville Courier-Journal: Isn’t it interesting that I can buy a $400 gizmo for my dashboard that will bark at me if I miss my turn in the dark but a pilot can’t find the right runway on a foggy morning? The answer to that […]

FAA: Tower Should have Had Two Controllers

08/29/2006: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is admitting that–by having only one controller in the tower on Sunday morning at Bluegrass Airport–they violated their own rule. Apparently, the controller on duty turned away to perform administrative duties as flight 5191 commenced its takeoff roll. (In every profession, “administrative duties” are tasks that impede important work […]

Terry Meiners: It was Pilot Error

08/28/2006: Louisville radio personality Terry Meiners of WHAS–who has been a private pilot for 20 years–is reflecting exactly what I was suggesting: it was pilot error, calling it “a horrible mistake”. When pilots are given takeoff runway instructions, Meiners makes note of: (1) the “heading bug” that the pilot places on the compass; this allows […]

Airline Crash in Lexington: ComAir Flight 5191 Took Off From Wrong Runway

08/27/2006: Airline disasters in Kentucky are rare; today’s crash of ComAir Flight 5191 is in fact the worst such crash in Kentucky history. The total death toll is 49. The first officer–James M. Polehinke–is the only survivor. He is in critical condition at University of Kentucky Hospital. According to WHAS in Lexington, it has been […]