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: none of those matters would have prevented the Comair 5191 disaster. This one was a clear-cut case of pilot error: failure to execute pre-takeoff checklist.
Given that Comair 5191 proceeded straight into takeoff roll the moment it turned onto runway 26, a second controller–even if his or her eyes were glued to the situation–would have been unable to prevent the ill-fated takeoff.
This is because–due to the shortened runway–a takeoff abort command–and confirmation thereof–would have taken too long to transpire.
The crew had less than five seconds to decide to abort the takeoff.
Had they stopped to performed their checklist before taking off, they would have noted their error (they were on the wrong heading), corrected it, and proceeded to the correct runway.
Everyone would be alive right now.