Comair Flight 5191 CVR Recording (With subtitles)

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Accident Description:

𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗿 𝗙𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝟱𝟭𝟵𝟭 was a scheduled domestic passenger flight from Lexington to Atlanta, operated by a Bombardier CRJ-100ER (Reg. N431CA) on 𝗔𝘂𝗴𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝟮𝟳, 𝟮𝟬𝟬𝟲.

Weather at Blue Grass Airport was fine on the morning of August 27 with a small shower approaching from the West. It was still dark just after 06:00 as Flight 5191 taxied out for takeoff. The flight was cleared for a runway 22 departure, which is Lexington’s main runway. Because the runway was repaved just recently with an added safety area at the approach end of runway 22, one taxiway was no longer in use. Since August 20 the taxi route to runway 22 was changed. The crew inadvertently lined up on the shorter and unlit runway 26.

The first officer commenced the takeoff roll. One of the pilots made a remark about the lack of runway light illumination, but the takeoff was continued. The fully laden CRJ was not able to rotate within the 3,500 feet runway distance and continued past the runway end. It knocked down a metal fence and continued onto a field. The plane struck several trees and burst into flames on a working farm. 49 people aboard were killed while the first officer was seriously injured. The plane was destroyed.

𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗯𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗖𝗮𝘂𝘀𝗲:
“The flight 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 this accident were the flight crew’s nonpertinent conversation during taxi, which resulted in loss of positional awareness and the Federal Aviation Administration’s failure to require that all runway crossings be authorized only by specific air traffic control clearances.”

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