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Comair Flight Crashes After Departing Lexington, Kentucky

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From what I saw on the news, the CRJ seems to have departed from the wrong runway at KLEX, because the crash site is just beyond runway 26, which was closed at the time and with 3500ft too short for the CRJ to take-off. Just judging from the location of the crash site, there is no way that the plane could have departed from runway 22.The METAR at the time of the crash at LEX was:KLEX 270954Z 20007KT 8SM FEW090 SCT120 24/19 A3000 RMK AO2 SLP147 T02390194Some reports say that windshear might have been a possibility, but it is kind of more obvious that the pilot could not establish a positive climb and possibly stalled due to the too short runway and consecutively crashed shortly after take-off.How this could have happened is beyond me, because the reports say that runway 26 was not lighted, while runways 22 was. Looks like a serious mistake by the pilot.Pat

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Guys, let's not speculate, okay? People lost their lives today and loved ones are mourning. Let's let the NTSB do its job, and keep the speculation out of this.

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My heart goes out to the families of this crash and for the FO that he recovers to help give some answers so that this never happens again.Best,Randy J. Smith

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No speculation anymore - NTSB just confirmed the plane took off from the wrong runway. Unbelievable, this is really unprecedented.

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>No speculation anymore - NTSB just confirmed the plane took>off from the wrong runway. Unbelievable, this is really>unprecedented.Then it goes to show, that anyone believing in GPS technology as only "backup" to paper charts is full of it!With today's technology and glass panel systems, an airport diagram with the aircraft's exact position with relation to taxiways/runways can pop up of the MFD. It then becomes a no-brainer in pre-dawn darkness, total darkness, etc.I do realize that all aircraft certainly do not yet contain these systems even though it's available even with handhelds. Yet, when ever I see someone acting as though a GPS is some kind of a "fancy toy", I get un-believably "irked"!I've been following "pilot dissorented" accidents for years, which include flight into rising terrain, selection of wrong runways, etc; and after 13 years of using moving map GPS's along with some introduction to the new Garmin 1000 and Avidye Entegra systems; I know that this technology can certainly make a difference!L.Adamson

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>Short pilot downtime may be involved..>>Dick near 5G8>no according to some comair folks i know, the bid packet showed a 28hr layover.sadly an air tran fo was j/s and also lost his life. a true accident.evidently a lot of construction was done on 4/22 last week and some of the taxiways were closed. it was dark, rain was in the area, and perhaps they had a "wheels up" time to meet. all no excuses, but factors going into the accident chain.god bless all who lost their lives.

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L.Adamson,Yeah very good points. I don't get it though, the CRJ does in fact display the runway on its ND along with an extended centerline. Plus you've got the 40 degree heading mismatch with what they would have had dialed into the AP window, etc... Check out the airport in FS or Google Earth - that runway is freaking tiny! It looks wrong to me just on sight picture alone. 3 pilots in the cockpit and no one notices this stuff? Sorta seems to me that all the technology in the world short of a voice yelling "You're on the wrong runway!" wouldn't have helped here. I wonder if this will lead to modifications so the takeoff config horn will go off if there's a mismatch between actual heading and what's in the AP HDG window?The investigation is gonna be real interesting on this one folks...

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Unfortunately taking off or landing on the wrong runway and to some extremes the wrong airport happens quite often. I know there were at least 10 so far this year at a small towered airport I operate out of often. I don't see this crash changing how we operate in the airport environment. It was an oversight by the pilots missing many warning signs and the most basic pre-takeoff checklist the 'WHATTSL' check.

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I am just stunned that both pilots didn't catch the error and it really seems that it was a multitude of human errors that lead to this (apparently unnecessary) disaster.- The runway 26 was not lit, according to the Notams. This would have been the easiest to spot.- Runway 26 is just about half as wide as 22 (75'/150')- The MFD display should have indicated an incorrect flight plan display. A deviation of 40 degrees is really easy to spot.- Ground and tower did not visually verify the aircrafts positionHowever, the standard checklists do not take an incorrect runways into account. If the "Before Takeoff Checklist" would have included a final verification for a visual check of the MFD and autopilot heading, then this might not have happened. Usually the correct settings for the autopilot/LNAV heading are cross-checked before taxiing, not before takeoff.Pat

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I'm not familiar with the CRJ's display. But I'd think, that with a center MFD such as the new Cessna Mustang's 15" display; showing a complete Jeppeson airport map, while displaying the aircraft's position; that it would hopefully do the job.L.Adamson

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>Unfortunately taking off or landing on the wrong runway and>to some extremes the wrong airport happens quite often. indeed it does, the most significant example was the Singapore Airlines 744 at Taipei :(

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>I am just stunned that both pilots didn't catch the error and>it really seems that it was a multitude of human errors that>lead to this (apparently unnecessary) disaster.you can say this same statement about most accidents.>- The runway 26 was not lit, according to the Notams. This>would have been the easiest to spot.>- Runway 26 is just about half as wide as 22 (75'/150')you just explained why they did not notice this difference. also the lights on the CRJ are very POOR in terms of forward visibility.>- The MFD display should have indicated an incorrect flight>plan display. A deviation of 40 degrees is really easy to>spot.not necessarily. perhaps a turn to a heading of 260 on takeoff is a standard ATC procedure at the airport and this crew, knowing this, bugged 260 at the gate (I do this all the time at ORD). something as innocent as this can help add to their confusion.>- Ground and tower did not visually verify the aircrafts>positionFrankly, in a perfect world it is doable, but in reality this isn't going to happen all the time. Especially when there is one aircraft out there at twilight where you clear them for takeoff probably on a taxiout way before the runway.>However, the standard checklists do not take an incorrect>runways into account. If the "Before Takeoff Checklist" would>have included a final verification for a visual check of the>MFD and autopilot heading, then this might not have happened.>Usually the correct settings for the autopilot/LNAV heading>are cross-checked before taxiing, not before takeoff.Common sense dictates that this should be part of it. Our final "before takeoff checklist scan" which is the ACTION of doing the checklist before the reading of it has us checking it holding short and on the runway. I also after saying "before takeoff checklist complete" also add verbage like "turn right to 2-6-0 up to 5,000, cleared for takeoff".What some of you do not know is the CRJ has a very annoying nuisance message that pops up when the headings disagree by a certain amount (6 or 8 degrees I cannot remember). EFIS COMP MON happens all the time taxiing out because of the wing flux capacitors (they are called that), which measure the magnetic variation of the spot we are at to automatically adjust our headings, do not like metal below them. With all the fuel storage tanks, etc. on an airport underground this happens usually on every taxi out. Sometimes it happens on the rollout and it is NOT an abort item, a simple "we'll deal with it in the air" situation. This may have happened here.Also the CRJ is annoying in the fact that if it adjusts BOTH headings to a wrong one, it JUSTIFIES this by adding winds that aren't there. I never heard of this until a chicago approach controller asked us our heading once (we were showing 040 and he showed us on a 020 track). He then asked us for our winds at 8000' and it showed 50kt winds. He then asked a united 737 at our altitude the winds and he answered they were 8kts. The controller then commented the CRJ does this "all the time" (his words). This could have happened on the ground to this crew.

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