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  #1  
Old 08-29-2006, 09:36 AM
KiloWhiskey KiloWhiskey is offline
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Default Comair Crash

http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?e...28X01244&key=1

Big news locally for us in Louisville, I guess it's not world wide.
Blue Grass is local to me, sort of, they do a lot of training there and as such are friendly to hacks in rental spam cans. (Like myself) I've left not an insignificant amount of rubber on this field.

With all due respect for the dead, this tragedy occured because the aircraft took off on the short runway, which is only 40 degrees different in heading from the long runway. Yes, it was dark and rainy, adding to the confusion. I first started thinking,well didn't they even look at their DG in their pre-takeoff scan? Then realisticly, in the same circumstance, KNOWING I was on the right runway, I'd have just tweaked the DG to match runway heading, ignoring the compass which was probably still bobbing around from the turn onto the runway. I wouldn't be surprised if that happened to them.

Canards need their long runways, please be careful out there.

Just another passing thought in this regard; the regional carriers started replacing turboprops with the regional jets, partly because of the public perception that jets were safer than prop aircraft. An ATR 72 turboprop, even the big one, could have made a safe departure from the short runway.
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Old 08-29-2006, 09:58 AM
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David Staten David Staten is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KiloWhiskey
http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?e...28X01244&key=1

Big news locally for us in Louisville, I guess it's not world wide.
Its pretty big news elsewhere too.. CNN has it in the rotation, and the local media in Houston covered it the past few days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KiloWhiskey
..this tragedy occured because the aircraft took off on the short runway, which is only 40 degrees different in heading from the long runway.
Agreed. Prelim info indicates the FDR indicated a heading of 260 (approx) which means the instrumentation was functioning. I would not be surprised if the pilot flying made a rolling turn to the runway and then advanced to the prescribed departure thrust setting. I will not cast stones or be righteously indignant, because I've made mistakes before too, just none that bit me this hard. There but for the grace of God go I...

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Old 08-29-2006, 11:57 AM
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I read something from the NTSB this morning that this runway ISN'T LIGHTED, and the cockpit recorder has the crew discussing the lack of lights, but didn't ask the tower. Sounds like serious human error.
http://www.wcpo.com/news/2006/local/...ne_runway.html

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Old 08-29-2006, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bferrell
I read something from the NTSB this morning that this runway ISN'T LIGHTED, and the cockpit recorder has the crew discussing the lack of lights, but didn't ask the tower. Sounds like serious human error.
http://www.wcpo.com/news/2006/local/...ne_runway.html

Brett
On both parts.

Ground didn't notice that they weren't on the right runway?

Not to say that is was ground controls fault. They are the just a backup.

Normally we just KNOW what runway we are on, right? I don't remember ever looking at my DG before I apply power on takeoff to check the runway. Has anyone done such a check before?
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Old 08-29-2006, 01:11 PM
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This is big news even up here in Canada. Very sad and so needless it would seem. The controller and two experienced pilots did not notice this? Hard to believe.

I always last check my DG on the runway prior opening the taps and at strange airports actually check the numbers to. The numbers might have been hard to see under the conditions. No lights must have been a clue though. Even if you have 15,000 hours, if it doesn't feel right, ASK.

I remember the 747 accident is Asia years ago where they tried taking off from a parallel runway which was closed and hit construction equipment. Bad vis again and the controllers couldn't see the plane plus compass heading would have been the same.

It would seem that this flight got airborne and they still might have saved it by levelling out just above terrain and letting it accelerate in ground effect if the terrain permitted it. I guess the FDR will tell that story. Common thread on stall /mush accidents (C5B comes to mind) recently and experienced pilots, that all pull right down to ground impact despite the training and knowledge.

Do any locals on this forum know the departure obstructions on this runway?

We can learn something from this as always. Be careful on short runways.

My thoughts go out to all families who lost someone on this flight and I don't mean to judge the pilots or controllers, just to ask questions.

What would be so hard about putting vertical signs on all runways with length remaining / heading and 1000 foot signs along the way. This would be another visual clue to the crew and be much easier to judge an abort or go. What would that cost? A few thousand dollars. It probably would have prevented this accident. Might prevent a few incursions too.
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Old 08-29-2006, 02:02 PM
Wayne Hicks Wayne Hicks is offline
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A few things:

(1) The crew may not have seen the runway numbers on the runway itself. One of the taxiways would have had them enter the runway just ahead of the numbers. (Speculation: If you look at the airport diagram and visual picture, you can see how this could occur.)

(2) ATC is not legally obligated to verify aircraft in on correct runway. ATC is not even a backup in this case.

(3) NTSB is saying that there was enough distance for the plane to reach rotation speed. I don't think rotation speed is anything more than the ability to raise the nose. I think they'd need more speed to actually begin flying in ground effect. Speculating, that they went through the perimeter fence says they weren't flying in ground effect or the pilot put her down.

(4) From TV, it looks like the surrounding land areas drop off gradually from the runways. No outstanding, tall obstructions. Can't really tell, but it looks like the stand of trees is far enough away to not be a concern under normal circumstances.

There's a local airport to me, PHF, that has intersecting runways at their thresholds. Very similar to KLEX. I find it confusing.
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  #7  
Old 08-29-2006, 02:56 PM
SteveWrightNZ SteveWrightNZ is offline
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big news even in NZ. I'll bite.. this is patent stupidity. how the hell can three professionals miss that they are on the wrong runway... even if they had got airborne, imagine their paradigm shift when they magically find themselves on a heading not associated with the runway they took off on (sic), and if they immediately entered IMC, how much persuading would it have taken to convince them that their instruments were correct and they were wrong ? Wake up CALLLL !!!! sheesh. Sure, I have done it on X-Plane, but I am a boy playing on a computer, and they are professionals doing it for real.
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Old 08-29-2006, 03:09 PM
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The accident is not amazing, what is, to me, is that in the USA we have about 20,000 commercial flights a day and some years there are NO commercial fatalities.

Great stufff and $%^* happens
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  #9  
Old 08-29-2006, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveWrightNZ
Wake up CALLLL !!!! sheesh. Sure, I have done it on X-Plane, but I am a boy playing on a computer, and they are professionals doing it for real.
We had commercial airliner land at Ft lauderdale, Executive instead of Ft Lauderdale International. And few have aborted after lining up on final.
The runways are the same heading, but 5-6 miles apart. Schnitt hapens
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  #10  
Old 08-29-2006, 05:42 PM
KiloWhiskey KiloWhiskey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mplafleur



Normally we just KNOW what runway we are on, right? I don't remember ever looking at my DG before I apply power on takeoff to check the runway. Has anyone done such a check before?
On good days, I try to have a mental picture of what I expect to see before I scan; if instruments don't show what's expected, then I have to start thinking. If they show what's expected, then I can stick my head out the window where it belongs. e.g, I expect DG to match runway, I expect oil pressure to rise when the noise goes up, I expect the airspeed indicator to not be where it was a few seconds ago, and be in the green by a certain point on the runway.
I wouldn't necessarily verify runways with a DG, more likely to set DG to runway, but if things don't line up, it's time to see why. Make sense?
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  #11  
Old 08-29-2006, 11:33 PM
ShaleDC ShaleDC is offline
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I believe that this crew had flown into the same airport earlier, when the runway lights for the CORRECT runway were out.

Seeing the runway lights on the INCORRECT runway out this time just reinforced their perception that they were ok.

You guys are quick to criticize. Of course it was human error, but like most human error cases involving highly trained professionals, this probably wasn't carelessnes, but rather a series of reinforcing events that led them to believe they were making the right choices.
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Old 08-29-2006, 11:54 PM
SteveWrightNZ SteveWrightNZ is offline
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I would be a hundred times harder on myself.. There is no excuse to flying commercial airliners on the basis of preconcieved ideas and assumptions. Thats what procedures and checklists are designed to eliminate. Either there is a procedural hole somewhere in the existing logic, or they had discarded the procedures. There are people who walk around knowing(sic) what they are doing, when then only think they know. Sometimes that person is me, and that is the beginning of the real understanding.

The more we know we know, the more we dont know. Suspend our beliefs and collect the facts.


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  #13  
Old 08-30-2006, 12:36 PM
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As more facts emerge. We find that the controller cleared the aircraft for departure then turned his back to tend to other duties. The FAA admits they broke their own rules by having only one controller on duty. The plane never got airborne, it launched off a berm which is why it travelled so far. Bombardier stated that the aircraft required more than the runway length available to reach rotation speed speed so they were doomed as they pushed the throttles up unless they realized quickly and aborted.

I agree, it is easy to judge after the fact but the much narrower runway with no lights had to be a clue and it was discussed by the pilots so they were uncomfortable right there. Time for a quick call to confirm. Maybe a quick GPS heading check by taxiing ahead 10 feet even if they we at all unsure and didn't want to make the call.

It seems that the taxiway layout is confusing here and there have been previous problems. The previous incidents should never be ignored. Post some better signs.
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Old 08-30-2006, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buly
We had commercial airliner land at Ft lauderdale, Executive instead of Ft Lauderdale International. And few have aborted after lining up on final.
The runways are the same heading, but 5-6 miles apart. Schnitt hapens
You can say that again Buly,
same thing happened two weeks ago to the woman pilot of a Turkish airliner headed for Poznan - Lawica airport but landed instead at a military base 15 miles away.
http://www.wp.mil.pl/artykul_wiecej.php?idartykul=2172
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Old 08-30-2006, 02:31 PM
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CBS has a much more substantial article:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/...n1903473.shtml
Same story, all lit up runway of commercial airport, unlit runway of military base, air traffic controllers warning the pilot of her mistake, no problem, she proceeds to land at the military base anyway.
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