Pilot Error Blamed in Comair Crash

AINalerts » July 31, 2007
July 31, 2007, 12:09 PM

After a year of investigation, the NTSB on Thursday released its final report regarding the takeoff crash of Comair Flight 5191 at Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Ky. According to the Safety Board, the cause of the accident was the crew’s “failure to use available cues and aids to identify the airplane’s location on the airport surface during taxi and their failure to cross check and verify that the airplane was on the correct runway before takeoff.” Contributing to the accident, the Safety Board said, was the crew’s idle chatter before departure. Though the lone controller on duty was spared any blame, the Safety Board recommended the FAA revise the controller’s handbook to indicate that ATC personnel not do administrative tasks while aircraft are moving within the controller’s area of responsibility. Furthermore, the Safety Board said the FAA should require controllers to not issue “a takeoff clearance during an airplane’s taxi to its departure runway until after the airplane has crossed all intersecting runways.”

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