Posted By RichC on August 27, 2006
As the friends and family gather today in Lexington Kentucky, the media continues to stress that it is too early to speculate on the crash of ComAir Flight 5191. Emotions are running high as family gather and the local community lends every bit of assistance it can. Stories like the local Rite Aid employees buying up all the tissues and delivering them to those gathering to grieve over the lost of their family members begin to make there way to the local blogs. What a terrible tragedy.
Those of us familiar with aviation, spectulate anyway as to what could have gone wrong. I’ve reviewed the available runways at Lexington Bluegrass Airport and in seeing the photos of the wreckage it does seem as if the 2001 Canadair CRJ-100 Bombardier Inc. built jet must have turn onto the wrong runway at 6:19am this morning? (see runway below and note photo of wreckage and building above) The 47 passengers and 3 crew were barely off the runway before the ill-fated take-off when down and fire engulfed the cabin. Only the first officer was pulled alive from the wreckage by 2 police officers.
Comair identified the crew members as Captain Jeffrey Clay, First Officer James Polehinke and flight attendant Kelly Heyer. Clay joined Comair in November 1999, Polehinke in March 2002 and Heyer in July 2004. The company didn’t immediately provide ages.
The regional jet had a “clean maintenance record, it had flown 14,500 hours, typical of an aircraft of that age” according to a Delta spokesperson (Delta is the parent company of ComAir).
The flight was the first of the day for the crew, which had spent the night in Lexington, Comair said. The crew’s rest period before the flight was “well beyond what is required by the FAA and what is standard for our own airline.”
Comair followed Delta in filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year and is working to trim $42 million from annual operating expenses.