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Comair LEX crash revisited

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Comair LEX crash revisited

Old 08-05-2010, 02:55 PM
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Default Comair LEX crash revisited

Hi.

"Pinnacle and Colgan both demonstrated gross failures of basic airmanship and judgement, backed up by gross lack of professionalism. Comair wasn't much better...121 does NOT allow use of a non-lighted runways at night, honest mistakes aside that should have stopped the whole evolution then and there."

The LEX accident was very complex, and the quote above highlights some of that. The NOTAMS said that the shorter runway did not have lights working, and the longer runway had lights that worked. ACTUALLY, the SHORTER runway had all the lights on, and the longer runway had some lights that were not working. So, if you followed the NOTAMS, you took off on the fully light runway, which the NOTAMS said was the longer runway. BUT, that early morning, the SHORTER runway was the ONLY one with all of it's lights on.

It is things like the above that did not make the LEX accident a simple pilot-stupid accident where they went to the wrong runway, with no other factors involved.

cliff
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Old 08-05-2010, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by atpcliff View Post
Hi.

"Pinnacle and Colgan both demonstrated gross failures of basic airmanship and judgement, backed up by gross lack of professionalism. Comair wasn't much better...121 does NOT allow use of a non-lighted runways at night, honest mistakes aside that should have stopped the whole evolution then and there."

The LEX accident was very complex, and the quote above highlights some of that. The NOTAMS said that the shorter runway did not have lights working, and the longer runway had lights that worked. ACTUALLY, the SHORTER runway had all the lights on, and the longer runway had some lights that were not working. So, if you followed the NOTAMS, you took off on the fully light runway, which the NOTAMS said was the longer runway. BUT, that early morning, the SHORTER runway was the ONLY one with all of it's lights on.

It is things like the above that did not make the LEX accident a simple pilot-stupid accident where they went to the wrong runway, with no other factors involved.

cliff
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You are a professional airline pilot and you don't check your DG for runway heading when getting lined up... and apparently don't look at or read airport signs and markings....

the poster was correct; this was gross pilot error all the way.
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Old 08-05-2010, 03:42 PM
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Hi!

"You are a professional airline pilot and... apparently don't look at or read airport signs and markings...."

Another example of how this was complicated. They WERE in the correct physical location to take off on the correct runway. The runways connected in a "V" shape, and they were in the takeoff position for BOTH runways. Also, they could not follow their Jepps airport diagrams to taxi to the runway...the diagrams were wrong, as they had not been updated properly due to the construction.

Pilots ARE human, and it is VERY EASY for us to make an error. Both pilots checking their DGs vs. the runway heading is a very good idea. My last US airline just added it to their Before Takeoff Checklist-Final Items per POI request.

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Old 08-05-2010, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Whacker77 View Post
s for the comments on the LEX accident, I have flown in and out of LEX many times as I live in Louisville. It's true the entrance to the runways was a bit confusing due to the V shape, but the runways were made of two very different materials. The runway used in the accident was a blacktop strip with minimal markings while the correct and longer runway was concrete with significant lighting.
Well to you its pretty obvious. However an airline crew that may see LEX once a year if that will have no idea about these distinctions. Not saying they're not to blame but they did have a pretty tall stack of cards against them too.
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Old 08-05-2010, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by atpcliff View Post
Hi.

"Pinnacle and Colgan both demonstrated gross failures of basic airmanship and judgement, backed up by gross lack of professionalism. Comair wasn't much better...121 does NOT allow use of a non-lighted runways at night, honest mistakes aside that should have stopped the whole evolution then and there."

The LEX accident was very complex, and the quote above highlights some of that. The NOTAMS said that the shorter runway did not have lights working, and the longer runway had lights that worked. ACTUALLY, the SHORTER runway had all the lights on, and the longer runway had some lights that were not working. So, if you followed the NOTAMS, you took off on the fully light runway, which the NOTAMS said was the longer runway. BUT, that early morning, the SHORTER runway was the ONLY one with all of it's lights on.

It is things like the above that did not make the LEX accident a simple pilot-stupid accident where they went to the wrong runway, with no other factors involved.

cliff
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I did research on this accident in college and I never came accross something that said the lights were up on runway 26. The one thing that notams did say about lighting was the the centerline lights were out on 22 the runway they sould have went down. Here is something straight from the CVR as they were going down the runway.

06:06:16.3
HOT-2 dat is weird with no lights.

They were not in the right location for takeoff even on the right runway.
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Old 08-05-2010, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by iPilot View Post
Well to you its pretty obvious. However an airline crew that may see LEX once a year if that will have no idea about these distinctions. Not saying they're not to blame but they did have a pretty tall stack of cards against them too.

Agreed. I flew a lot out of LEX the year the accident happened. The construction as well as the associated lighting outages on both runways made it even more confusing... and that doesn't even address the signage issues which have since been corrected.

But... Back on topic: 1,500 hour rule? I'm for it!
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Old 08-06-2010, 08:23 AM
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There was A LOT more to 5191 than most realize.

Threats to COM191:

-Outages all over the airport, including lights, signs, etc
-Markings and signs that no longer existed
-Early morning/night
-A runway sight picture that was nearly identical due to upslope than downslope of both runways; different runway materials and lights were the only visible difference, again, NO NUMBERS OR SIGNS! They were faded and OTS.
-A single controller on duty who was heads down after clearing COM191 for takeoff, he was working clearance, ground, local, AND DEPARTURE AND ARRIVAL, using the radar repeater in the tower cab.
-A taxiway that was not properly closed and NOTAM'ed CLSD. The taxiway was closed THEN the NOTAM was issued. The airport manager instead gave printouts to the station managers detailing the closure and the back-taxi procedure that was to be used. SkyWest and Eagle received theirs, Comair did not. Oops.
-A crew that was likely tired and fatigued after staying at a hotel that was under renovation at the time and crewmembers were reporting not being able to get enough rest. Where was that tidbit in the NTSB report?

Yes, it was their fault, they took off on the wrong runway, but to a wary crew they had everything against them.
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Old 08-06-2010, 09:31 AM
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I moved the posts from the "1500 hour" thread to here.
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Old 08-06-2010, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by atpcliff View Post
Hi!

The runways connected in a "V" shape, and they were in the takeoff position for BOTH runways.

cliff
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HUH? It is a physical impossibility to be in the takeoff position for both runways, especially when the headings differ by 40 degrees. One aircraft cannot fly two different runway headings simultaneously.
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Old 08-06-2010, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by atpcliff View Post
They WERE in the correct physical location to take off on the correct runway. The runways connected in a "V" shape, and they were in the takeoff position for BOTH runways.
No they weren't. The runways intersected a short ways down, but not at their departure ends. The pilots needed to cross the departure end of the accident runway, and then taxi down another short taxiway in order to reach the runway they were supposed to be on. Instead the lined up on the first runway they came to. Which was pitch black...even though they commented on that fact, they continued the takeoff in total violation on 121 rules.

Note: the airport has been largely redesigned, the current 10-9 bears no resemblance to layout in 2006.
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