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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Lexington KY Plane crash

Sad and tragic news from Kentucky

A Comair plane crash at Blue Grass Airport killed 49 passengers en route to Atlanta.

There was one survivor, First Officer Jim Paulhinky, who is in critical condition at University of Kentucky Hospital.

Mike Gobb, the airport’s executive director, said the plane, a regional jet, had “difficulty on departure.”

Flight 5191, a Comair Delta connections flight, went down at 6:07 a.m. about a mile west of the airport, Comair said. The non-stop flight was scheduled to leave at 6 a.m. and arrive at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport at 7:18 a.m.

The plane crashed in a hilly, heavily wooded area on a working farm, one of many farms that surround Blue Grass Airport, said Chief Scott Lanter of the airport fire department. The farm is within view of the airport runway, he said. The site appears to be directly in line with the airport’s shorter runway.

Lanter said the plane is mostly intact, but a fire occurred.

At UK Hospital Paulhinky was quickly taken to surgery, a spokesperson said.


Versailles Road, where emergency vehicles have been stationed this morning, is likely to be closed for a significant amount of time, said Police Chief Anthany Beatty.

A team of investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board, the lead agency investigating the crash, was expected to leave Washington, D.C., at 10:30 a.m. and will likely be on site by noon, said a spokesperson for the National Transportation Safety Board. The team – called the Go Team – consists of investigators who specialize in various aspects of accident investigations.

The investigation will look at anything that could have contributed to the crash, including the pilot, aircraft and airport where a runway resurfacing occurred Aug. 17 to Aug. 19, said Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen.

“I’m sure that is something that would be looked at,” Bergen said

The resurfacing was the final phase of a $35 million improvement project that began in October 2003. The project added 600 feet of of safety area at each runway end.

During a morning press briefing in Cincinnati, Comair Chief Executive Officer Don Bornhorst declined to answer questions about whether the plane could have taken off from the wrong runway.

The crash site is not far from the the end of the shorter runway, which is roughly half the length of the major runway.

The basis for that theory is this.

The owner of the farm where Comair Flight 5191 crashed said the plane “obviously … used the wrong runway."

Nick Bentley said the plane must have used the airport's shorter runway, which is about 3,400 feet. The main runway is 7,000 feet

He said the plane hit an 8-foot fence between his property and the airport, and clipped several trees.

The smaller runway is for use by small aircraft, not commercial planes.

Bentley said he did not go the crash site, but he can see the fence from other locations on his land.

“He just got disoriented for whatever reason,” Bentley said of the pilot.

He said the crash location is a “straight line” from the start of the smaller runway to where the airplane landed on his farm. He said a friend called him at 6:20 a.m. and told him a plane had crashed on his property.

Bentley and his wife said no structures or horses on the farm were hit. He said the farm had some horses on it but was otherwise undeveloped.
Its too early to draw conclusions. Except we know many friends and family of those who died are suffering right now. God bless them all.

This is the deadliest US plane crash since November 2001 when an American Airlines flight went down shortly after takeoff from JFK airport in New York.

Note- On the Lexington Herald Leader message boards there is mention of a newlywed couple who was on board Comair 5191. They were heading to their honeymoon. I was not able to find an article corroborating this.

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