Was Vectoring Previous Traffic As Flight 5191 Took Off
The National Transportation Safety Board is wrapping up its
on-the-scene investigation into Sunday's loss of a CRJ-100 in
Lexington, KY... and at the final public briefing Wednesday night,
board member Debbie Hersman shed new light into the work schedule
of the sole controller in the tower at the time of the
According to Hersman, the air
traffic controller in the tower had worked an eight-hour shift on
Saturday, from 6:30 am to 2:30 pm. He then had nine hours off --
during which time, he told investigators, he slept for two hours
-- before returning for the overnight shift at 11:30 pm.
The controller told investigators he was handling the accident's
flight clearance, as well as vectoring an earlier flight around
weather, as the Comair RJ took the runway.
Hersman also told reporters that investigators are checking
surveillance tapes of taxiway Alpha as Flight 5191 headed to the
runway. Hersman said that from what she had seen of the tapes so
far, however, the actual moment the plane takes the runway is out
of the camera's field of vision.
The NTSB is also interviewing airport staff who interacted with
the plane's flight crew... including workers who had to alert
Captain Jeffrey Clay and First Officer James Polehinke they had
initially boarded and powered up the wrong aircraft, and direct
them to their plane.
Hersman states the NTSB is now working with revised performance
estimates for the accident aircraft, as earlier estimates were
based on a CRJ-100 with uprated engines the accident aircraft did
According to the revised figures, Flight 5191 would have needed
3,744 feet of runway to reach its rotation speed of 138 knots.
Runway 26 is 3,500 feet long.
Hersman said the memorial service for the victims of Flight 5191
is scheduled for Thursday... after which time most of the NTSB team
will head back to Washington for the next stage of the