Sunday, August 27, 2006

Comair (Delta Connection) Flight Crashes...

I (or Ben) will continue posting about this once more information comes in...

A Comair flight bound for Atlanta crashed shortly after takeoff at Lexington Airport this morning (6:07 AM). The Canadair CRJ-200 jet, carrying 50 people (47 passengers and 3 crew members), was largely intact at the crash site, although a fire apparently erupted on board upon hitting ground. So far, only one person was found to have survived the crash - he/she is currently in critical condition at the hospital.

This crash ends what was arguably the safest period in United States domestic aviation history. The last major crash to have occurred was in November of 2001, when an American Airlines A300 crashed into the Rockaways after taking off from JFK Airport in New York City. An Air Midwest (US Airways Express) flight crashed after taking off from Charlotte/Douglas International Airport in January 2003, killing all 21 on board.

...interesting how this happened after I booked tickets for Thanksgiving just this past week. Guess what I'm flying! A Comair CRJ-200 50-person jet. Let's hope today's crash doesn't reveal any major design flaws with the airplane, what has been known to happen in the past.

UPDATE (2:30 PM): Apparently "sources" have confirmed for NBC that the plane took off from the wrong runway, one that was too short in length for this particular plane (not to mention that it was an unlit runway). However, there has been no official statement from the NTSB or Comair confirming this finding. The plane had undergone routine/scheduled maintenance as recently as yesterday, and the runway in question, normally used for non-commercial aviation at the airport, had recently been reopened after a repavement project. One survivor has been taken to a nearby hospital and had undergone surgery earlier in the afternoon. Officials say that the survivor is the flight's first officer (captain's co-pilot) and was found soon after the crash moving in the front of the plane. It is believed that the majority of passengers died as a result of the fire that erupted after the plane hit ground.

UPDATE (10:30PM) The NTSB has confirmed that the plane attempted to take off from the wrong runway, as evidenced by ground scar patterns and radar data showing the plane on the runway shortly before the crash. I'll be interested to see what information the lone survivor, the first officer for flight 5191, can offer, provided that he survives his injuries and that he even will remember the events leading up to the accident.


Blogger Ben said...

I ride those planes every time I fly out of Charlottesville.

9:01 AM  

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