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Comair sues over plane crash

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Comair sues over plane crash

Old 10-14-2006, 10:29 AM
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Default Comair sues over plane crash


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Comair sued the federal government and the Lexington airport Friday over the deadly crash of a commuter plane that mistakenly took off from a too-short runway. Forty-nine people were killed in the accident Aug. 27.
In a statement, the airline said it intends to reach fair settlements with the victims' families but is suing to ensure other parties that bear responsibility pay their share. Airport officials and their attorney had no immediate comment, saying they had not seen the lawsuit. A spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration in Washington did not immediately return calls.
Comair also filed an administrative claim with the government, saying it has more than $17.3 million in losses related to the crash. Most of the figure includes the cost of the plane.
A week before the crash, an airport repaving project changed the taxi route leading to the 7,000-foot main runway that Comair Flight 5191 should have used at Lexington-Fayette Urban County Airport.
The plane mistakenly turned onto a 3,500-foot runway in the dark, struggled to get airborne and crashed in a field.
In the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Lexington, Comair claims the Federal Aviation Administration failed in its duty to inspect and approve construction along the taxi route leading to the main runway.
The company also claims the FAA failed to properly staff the control tower with two air traffic controllers. Instead, only one was on duty that morning, and he had turned away from the runway before Comair Flight 5191 took off.
Comair claimed that signs, lighting and markers that would have guided the two pilots to the correct runway were missing because of the construction.
Robert Clifford, a Chicago-based attorney who represents some of the crash victims' families, said Comair's suit and claim is a move by the airline to spread out the financial hit of any settlement.
"Comair really does believe the tower could have broken a chain of events ... that led to this crash," Clifford said.
Comair, a subsidiary of Delta Air Lines Inc. and based in Erlanger, Ky., operates 850 flights to 108 cities daily. Both airlines filed for bankruptcy protection last year.
At least 13 wrongful-death lawsuits have been filed over the crash.
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Old 10-14-2006, 11:25 AM
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Desperate ploy by a failing airline to shift some of the blame to another entity.
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Old 10-14-2006, 11:32 AM
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I imagine that there's plenty of blame to go around... especially if and when this case goes to a jury. Comair isn't the only one out there with potential for losing some substantial money over this accident.
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Old 10-14-2006, 02:48 PM
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This situation is not atypical. Comair is going to get sued by the families of the victims for wrongful death so in turn, Comair is going to sue the entities they think contributed to the accident. Its how the system works.

And for the record, I was in LEX not long after the crash and my Jepps were wrong (the company had distributed a printed version, which the captain had), the construction and taxiways were not well marked and the controllers were sub par (left us at 2000' AGL as he turned us inside the marker for the "ILS, glideslope inoperative" approach so we went around. After we landed, the ground crew told us that we were the third airplane they had seen go around that afternoon. Think I heard the controller screw ASA or someone else also while we were on freq).
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Old 10-14-2006, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by POPA View Post
Desperate ploy by a failing airline to shift some of the blame to another entity.
That is certainly one of the most ignorant comments i've read in a while. You cannont tell me that the improper staffing and sloppy construction work didn't contribute significantly to that crash. I understand the final blame lies with the pilots, but as we all know a crash isn't just one person making one mistake, it's a chain of events that lead to the final disaster. Also understand these lawsuits are directed straight at Comair, the FAA and LEX tower aren't being sued, that i know of. And if that's the case i would strongly believe that those two entities should bear at least some of the weight of the fallout that is looming.
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