Mon, Aug 28, 2006
Pilots Noted Runway Lights Were Off
ANN REALTIME REPORTING
08.28.06 2215 EDT: The pilots of Comair Flight 5191 noted the
runway was not lit as their aircraft sped down the runway,
according to statements by NTSB spokesperson Debbie Hersman at a
press briefing Monday night from Blue Grass Airport.
Hersman added the CRJ-100's flight data recorder indicates the
plane reached a maximum speed of 137 knots before it overran runway
26 and crashed into the ground off the end of the runway.
Hersman also confirmed the flight's first officer -- who is the
only survivor of the accident -- was the flying pilot at the time
of takeoff. James Polehinke remains in critical condition at a
Lexington hospital, and the NTSB has not been able to speak with
him as of yet.
The flight's load manifest listed a takeoff weight of 49,087
lbs. According to figures provided from the plane's manufacturer,
Bombardier, the CRJ would have needed an estimated 3539 feet to
allow the nosewheel to rotate -- 39 feet more than the length of
The NTSB is conducting tests on the runway at KLEX Monday night,
using a loaned CRJ-100, to determine if anything on the field may
have led the pilots to mistake runway 26 for the 7,003-foot runway
22 -- the runway the tower cleared them to depart from.
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