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socalfive
Topic Author
Posts: 474
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2001 5:37 am

Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Fri Sep 01, 2006 11:45 pm

This letter landed in my email this morning and was written by a pilot very familiar with LEX. I thought it pretty interesting and pasted it to this post.

Interesting Read....


SoCal



Aviation disaster --a pilot's view

I live in Lexington and have thirty years of airline experience flying
in and out of LEX. I was also the station liaison for Lexington for
ten years
Here is what I think happened:
The two runways in question share the same common run-up area. The
extended taxiway to the correct runway, runway 28 was closed due to
construction. It
has always been difficult to tell between the two runways when you are
taxiing out. The natural thing to do is to take the wrong one. It is
just there and you are always tempted to take it. When I flew out of
LEX we always checked each other at least three times to make sure we
were taking the correct runway. We checked the chart, we checked to
make sure the correct runway number was at the end and we always
double checked the FMS generated moving map.

Most FMS systems will have a warning called "runway dissimilarity" pop
up in magenta when your position at takeoff doesn't match the runway
you programmed into the computer. This would not happen at LEX since
you are virtually in the same spot when you take either runway.

It was also raining at the time of takeoff and dark. The control tower
opens at 6am (because we are, after all, all about saving money) and
only has one controller on duty at that time. He or she has to: run
ground control, clearance delivery, approach control and departure
control. The one controller also has to program the ATIS and make the
coffee. He or she probably cleared comair to take off and then put
their head back down to do a chore or work another airplane.

Taking the runway, the comair guy would put the power up and wouldn't
realize they were on the wrong runway until they were about 70% down
the pike. Too late to safely abort so he probably decided to try and
continue the takeoff.

This is when the eye witnesses heard a series of explosions and though
the plane blew up in the air. Didn't happen -- what they heard and saw
were compressor stalls of probably both engines. The pilot no doubt
pushed the throttles all the way up and that demand to the engines
combined with the steep pitch attitude cut off enough air to the
intakes to cause the compressor stalls -- which, by the way, made them
even more doomed. Less power.

They stalled or simply hit one of the large hills to the west of the
airport and came to a stop. Everybody on board was probably injured
but alive. Then, a second or two later the post-crash fire began. With
the darkness and the fact that most of them had broken legs, pelvises
and backs they literally burned alive. Not smoke inhalation. They
really actually burned to death.

In my role as station liaison I wrote most of the post crash safety
procedure for Delta at that field. Too bad there weren't enough
survivors to use them.

BTW, comair and the press will tell you what a great plane the RJ is.
This is a total lie. The Canadair RJ was designed to be an executive
barge, not an airliner. They were designed to fly about ten times a
month, not ten times a day. They have a long history of mechanical
design shortfalls. I've flown on it and have piloted it. It is a
steaming, underpowered piece of ****. It never had enough power to get
out of its own way and this situation is exactly what everybody who
flies it was afraid of.

The senior member of the crew had about five and a half years of total
jet experience. The copilot less. They had minimum training (to save
money -- enjoy that discount ticket!) and were flying a minimally
equipped pos on very short rest. The layover gets in about 10pm the
night before. They report for pick-up at 4:30am.

I'm sorry if I sound bitter but this is exactly the direction the
entire airline industry is going. Expect to see bigger more colorful
crashes in the future.

I have 20,000 of heavy jet flying time and am type rated in the 727,
757, 767, 777, DC-8,DC-9 and L-1011.
 
scaredflyer21
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2000 6:52 am

RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Fri Sep 01, 2006 11:50 pm

You really cannot blame the plane for not being able to take off on the shorter runway...

The simple fact is that the pilots took off from the wrong runway.
 
RobertS975
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RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Fri Sep 01, 2006 11:51 pm

Well, that assessment is so full of inaccuracies as to be laughable. It has already been posted, BTW. The tower is open 24 hours, not a 6AM open. And the crew seemed to be properly rested by all accounts. And the diatribe about the design pitfalls of the CRJ really do not seem to be an issue in this accident, do they?

This guys takes shots at the crew, the airplane and the industry. Not a credible addition to the discussion, IMO!
 
scaredflyer21
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2000 6:52 am

RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Fri Sep 01, 2006 11:55 pm

Quoting RobertS975 (Reply 2):
This guys takes shots at the crew, the airplane and the industry. Not a credible addition to the discussion, IMO!

Fully agree!

Scaredflyer21
 
zsx81
Posts: 288
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RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Fri Sep 01, 2006 11:59 pm

Exactly, CRJs take off a thousand times a day all over the world and this is the first time that I ve heard of that something like this has happend. You can put a 727,757, 767, 777, DC-8,DC-9 or a L-1011 on runway 22 with the same results. If there is not enough runway to take off there is no airplane that can counter that no matter how much training the piots may have recieved.
 
gregtx
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RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 12:06 am

The CRJ has an admirable safety and reliabilty record...and is the third most popular jet every produced---yet you find is full of crap? It's power to weight ratio is within the acceptable norms of most twinjets--it's not underpowered

The crew made a very careless, fatal, error--and it cost the lives of 49 people.

Don't look for a scapegoat.

This accident was 100% avoidable.

And 100% the fault of the crew. No one outside that cockpit pointed that aircraft down the wrong runway.
 
ATCGOD
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RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 12:10 am

Quoting Socalfive (Thread starter):
Most FMS systems will have a warning called "runway dissimilarity" pop
up in magenta when your position at takeoff doesn't match the runway
you programmed into the computer.

Although this would show them at about the same position wouldn't the FMC have seen the wide range of heading difference?

Quoting Socalfive (Thread starter):
The
extended taxiway to the correct runway, runway 28 was closed due to
construction.

There is a runway 28 at this airport? This is a typo right?
 
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TVNWZ
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RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 12:12 am

Yikes! Bitter, bitter man. Needs help.
 
tvnewsguy08
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RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 12:13 am

Quoting Socalfive (Thread starter):
The two runways in question share the same common run-up area. The
extended taxiway to the correct runway, runway 28 was closed due to
construction. It

Where is runway 28????

And this guy says he took off from LEX thousands of times. WOW!!! Not sure I'd fly with him!
 
MD88Captain
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RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 12:33 am

You may not like what he wrote (and it looks like it wasn't meant for publication), but he makes some excellent observations to go along with his opinions. His observation about how easy it is to mix up the two runways is right on. His observation about why you wouldn't get a warning from your FMS is right on. His conjecture about the compressor stalls is something I had not considered and is very probable (Firewall power with a high angle of attack). Certainly late recognition of the wrong runway is probable. The less than hardy nature of the CRJ is an accepted truth in the industry and in fact there are many CRJ's in storage. It would appear that there's not much of a future for the CRJ while the EM 170 & 190 have bright futures.

Remember that every accident is preventable. The task is to keep this from happing again. So you must identify what factors allowed these guys to make the mistake that they are being vilified for. No one is saying they did not screw up. But how could we change things to keep it from happening again. Better signage? Better Jepps? FMS change? Procedural changes? Operational changes? Everything must be looked at. Every accident is preventable.

[Edited 2006-09-01 17:50:21]
 
dl1011
Posts: 315
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RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 1:16 am

I would think that any engine surges were caused by tree or fence debris. Several photos have shown the damage to the fence and trees that are right at the end of the runway.

Sorry, but I'm not impressed with the letter.
 
okie73
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RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 1:31 am

this crash and the fact that they evidently died from a fire has highlighted something I worried about everytime I stepped on a CRJ. Aft of the wing, there are no exits....emergency or otherwise. If there is a fire, especially after a crash, people in the back would have to go toward the wing, which means toward the fuel source, to get out. Very, very poor design if you ask me.

PS yes I realize the ERJ has the same problem, but I've never flown on one of them.

[Edited 2006-09-01 18:37:40]
 
emseeeye
Posts: 351
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RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 1:33 am

Quoting Socalfive (Thread starter):
BTW, comair and the press will tell you what a great plane the RJ is.
This is a total lie. The Canadair RJ was designed to be an executive
barge, not an airliner. They were designed to fly about ten times a
month, not ten times a day. They have a long history of mechanical
design shortfalls. I've flown on it and have piloted it. It is a
steaming, underpowered piece of ****. It never had enough power to get
out of its own way and this situation is exactly what everybody who
flies it was afraid of.

If this guy has the thousands of so hours like he claims to have then he obviously doenst know what hes talking about. Period. The airlines cramped these airplanes and made them hated by passengers. These CRJ's are some of the safest aircraft in use by the airlines today.

Quoting RobertS975 (Reply 2):
Well, that assessment is so full of inaccuracies as to be laughable. It has already been posted, BTW. The tower is open 24 hours, not a 6AM open. And the crew seemed to be properly rested by all accounts. And the diatribe about the design pitfalls of the CRJ really do not seem to be an issue in this accident, do they?

This guys takes shots at the crew, the airplane and the industry. Not a credible addition to the discussion, IMO!

 checkmark   checkmark  Double checkmark!

Quoting Gregtx (Reply 5):
The CRJ has an admirable safety and reliabilty record...and is the third most popular jet every produced---yet you find is full of crap? It's power to weight ratio is within the acceptable norms of most twinjets--it's not underpowered

The crew made a very careless, fatal, error--and it cost the lives of 49 people.

Don't look for a scapegoat.

This accident was 100% avoidable.

And 100% the fault of the crew. No one outside that cockpit pointed that aircraft down the wrong runway.

 checkmark  You are correct however speaking to many pilots that fly LEX, this was an accident waiting to happen.

Quoting Dl1011 (Reply 10):
I would think that any engine surges were caused by tree or fence debris. Several photos have shown the damage to the fence and trees that are right at the end of the runway.

Sorry, but I'm not impressed with the letter.

The compressor stall "theory" this guy poses is a piece of crap itself. The throttles would have been at TO power the entire length of the runway.
 
socalfive
Topic Author
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RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 1:50 am

Boy I had no idea this post would generate the kinds of responses it has, but I guess I should have.

I think everyone familar with this accident would agree it is nothing long or short of Pilot error that caused this accident; end of story. However, I find what "professionals" have to say quite interesting that actually work in this field and deal with these issues day in and day out.

I'm a pilot (Not an ATP), I can't imagine choosing the wrong runway to takeoff from, however, I've never flown out of that airport, so I tend to set aside the WTF factor and listen to those that actually know something about the situation and learn from it. One of the first things they teach you in flight school is that it typically takes three-things to happen to go punch a hole in the ground with an airplane. I'd like to know what exactly those three things were in this case.

Most of you that are on here shooting off your mouths have never done anything more than taken the occasional flight sitting three rows forward of the aft lavatory. Most of you that work in the industry in Ops, ground, MX, or the best yet, Law have plenty to contribute in your lines of work but know damned little about actually being a pilot or flying an aircraft; and guess what? There's a lot to know. What I've found around here quite often is a bunch of know-it-alls that learn about aviation and operations from each other, or in more simple to undestand terminology, the Blind leading the Blind.

So, to the author of the letter, thanks for the insight (good or bad, bitter or sweet) and to MD88Captain for shedding an even wider objective professional perspective to the post.
 
MD88Captain
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RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:03 am

The compressor stall theory is crap? No, actually it isn't crap. The engines at TO power doesn't mean there is not more power available. Whether the CMR 191 pilots used alternate (reduced) power or the Noramal power setting, they still would've shoved the throttles to the firewall (firewall power) as they realized that they were nearing the end of the runway. This is the same procedure used for encountering windshear on TO after V1.

I can believe that they went to firewall power and as the engines advanced to that setting they pulled the nose off hard. That combination could very well have disrupted airflow into the turbines and resulted in a compressor stall (s). It is not a big deal. They were probably doomed anyway, but the theory is plausible to this airline pilot.

And btw. This guy is the real deal. I was actually an "airport liasion pilot" for DAL back in the early 1990's. We worked with the local tower and station manager to work out problems like signage. This guy wouldn't make that up - because almost no one would know about it except the guys that did it. He's an expert who has forgotten more than most here will know. And he may be a little bitter. His observations are right on. His opinions could use some polish.
 
airfoilsguy
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RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:03 am

Quoting Socalfive (Reply 13):
What I've found around here quite often is a bunch of know-it-alls that learn about aviation and operations from each other,

I have been waiting for someone to say that for a long time. I take the letter like everything else I see here. Just something interesting to think of untill further proof of its acracy shows up.
It's not a near miss it's a near hit!!
 
jetboy319
Posts: 231
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RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:04 am

Quoting MD88Captain (Reply 9):
The less than hardy nature of the CRJ is an accepted truth in the industry and in fact there are many CRJ's in storage.

With all due respect, there are a lot of other airplanes, including many MD frames in storage as well. Perhaps you are confusing the CRJ with the DC9  Wink I am a little curious what "Less than hardy nature of the CRJ" means. I know at least the CR7 can fly higher and faster than the MD80s so your statement leaves me a bit puzzled.
 
Charliejag1
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RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:10 am

Quoting EmSeeEye (Reply 12):
The compressor stall "theory" this guy poses is a piece of crap itself. The throttles would have been at TO power the entire length of the runway.

There is no reason to think this is true. At the point where they realized they were most of the way down the wrong runway, the pilots would have pushed the throttles to the firewall and nothing less. Keep in mind, they were performing a reduced thrust t/o (if you even know what that is).

I am 100% with socalfive. He is spot on. Many of you do not like his opinions or a typo or two, but that is hardly the point. To reiterate what he said, it is interesting when non-pilots (in this case an IT manager), make it seem like they know what they are talking about in terms of pilot knowledge. In fact, alot of times these statements are wrong. Though I respect the IT manager and have nothing against him or his line of work, socalfive and I are commercial pilots and he is not. If I needed information about IT, I would go to him.
 
MD88Captain
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RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:17 am

The CRJ's are known for breaking alot. It is not of a hardy nature. Get it? It breaks. Whether this is because it was originally not meant for 121 service, I do not know. But all my FO's that flew them tell me they break and cannot take all the people and all the bags.

The 50 seat line is shutdown. CRJ-100's are permanently parked without anyone scrambling to pick them up.
 
Dougloid
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RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:27 am

Does anyone ever look at the heading indicator and say "jeez, Bob, that don't say 22, it says 26. Are we in the right place?"
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
FlyPNS1
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RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:35 am

Quoting Socalfive (Thread starter):
I'm sorry if I sound bitter but this is exactly the direction the entire airline industry is going. Expect to see bigger more colorful
crashes in the future.

Everytime there is an accident in this industry, some extremists like to make this claim and it never comes true.

As many on this board probably know, I'm not a big fan of the CRJ. But even I have to say that blaming the plane for this accident is foolish. It wouldn't have mattered how underpowered the plane was, it had no chance on such a short runway. An MD88 or 737 would have had similar accidents.

I think this guy is more bitter about losing mainline jobs to Comair and their CRJs, then he is about the actual accident. He's just using the accident as a cover in his effort to lambast the regionals. It's not only unprofessional, but just plain sad.
 
Charliejag1
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RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 4:32 am

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 20):
Everytime there is an accident in this industry, some extremists like to make this claim and it never comes true.

No matter how much we all want to believe otherwise, there will always be bigger, more colorful accidents. It would be extremist to say otherwise.

As far as your interpretation of socal's 'bitterness', you're thinking way too hard. You're analyzing it too much, maybe because you find his opinions hard to swallow. Attacking him as 'unprofessional' and 'sad' is rather childish.
 
JBLUA320
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RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 4:39 am

I don't think he is blaming JUST the plane, but I do think he is saying that the pilot error combined with the so-so reputation of the CRJ was an accident waiting to happen.

I think this guy knows what he is talking about. Perhaps a little rough around the edges, but he is far more familiar with the field than anyone else here. I wouldn't say to just jump on the bandwagon and follow, but I'd certainly think his views and opinions should not yet be discounted.

JBLU
 
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TVNWZ
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RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 4:54 am

Quoting MD88Captain (Reply 9):
But how could we change things to keep it from happening again. Better signage? Better Jepps? FMS change? Procedural changes? Operational changes? Everything must be looked at.

 yes 

Quoting MD88Captain (Reply 14):
He's an expert who has forgotten more than most here will know. And he may be a little bitter. His observations are right on. His opinions could use some polish.

 yes 

As if us civilian A-Netters' opinions don't need some polish.  Smile
 
lowrider
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RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 5:22 am

My experience with the CRJ is somewhat at odds with the letter's author. Granted I only have about 2200 hours in it, but I could count on one hand the number of times we have canceled due to mechanical reasons. I would put the dispatch reliability record against any aircraft you wish to compare it to.

As for the claims of it being underpowered and poorly constructed, it complies with all the standards for Transport Catagory aircraft. So long as the crew complies with the runway analysis and the aircraft limitations, then the power avialable is sufficient. They can't all climb like a 757. If he means to say that these standards need to be revisited, then that would be an interesting discussion. The fact that there are so many in storage is a testament to the quality of the management that operated them, not the construction of the aircraft itself. Bombardier recently developed an freighter mod for these aircraft in an attemp to broaden thier market and get these aircraft out of storage. This does not suggest that they are at the end of thier useful life.

As to Comair's training, the program was approved and is supervised by the FAA. Does the author mean to say that these standards and oversight, the same ones Delta must comply with, are insufficient? If so,then to what should they be raised. The Captain has approx 5 1/2 years experience on that aircraft. Figure and average of about 900 hours a year, that comes out to almost 5000 hours. Again, if this is not enough, then how much is?

As for the standard to which the aircraft is equiped, it is good enough for Cat II approaches. What does he think it lacks?

Most everything else, including crew rest was dealt with previously. To this pilot, the letter comes off sounding like sour grapes.
Proud OOTSK member
 
emseeeye
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RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 5:46 am

Quoting Charliejag1 (Reply 17):
I am 100% with socalfive. He is spot on. Many of you do not like his opinions or a typo or two, but that is hardly the point. To reiterate what he said, it is interesting when non-pilots (in this case an IT manager), make it seem like they know what they are talking about in terms of pilot knowledge. In fact, alot of times these statements are wrong. Though I respect the IT manager and have nothing against him or his line of work, socalfive and I are commercial pilots and he is not. If I needed information about IT, I would go to him.

Sorry if my profile is so vague and Thanks for the insight but I would much rather remain anoynomous. Yes I work in IT but I grew up in Aviation. I enjoy aviation now because I dont work in it. I am an A&P mechanic and I have my private pilots license with a little over 150 hours. My "focus" was in maintenance and yes... I went to Montreal for Bombardier training on the Challenger 600. (CL-600)

So I think I have a special insight on the CRJ.

Sorry if my comments offended anyone. I'm done with this thread...
 
baron95
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RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 6:01 am

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 20):
It wouldn't have mattered how underpowered the plane was, it had no chance on such a short runway.

Is this actually true? I think most people are confusing the runway requirements (ballanced field length which accounts for an engine failure at V1) to the runway length actually needed to get off the ground if both engines are operating.

Can someone that has the CRJ flight manuals actually tell us what the ground roll distance is for the flight conditions in question. I think it will be right around 3500 feet.

If the crew had lined up at the very begining of the runway (which I think they didn't) and had used max TO power from the begining (which they may not have done) and had gone to firwall power when they realized they were running out of asphalt (which they probably did) and considering that there were no obstructions in the 1500 ft grass overun area), I think they would have a fair chance of getting off the ground safely.

In general if a jet can accelerate to V1 and stop in 7000 ft it can take off from 3500 ft with both engines cooking.
Killer Fleet: E190, 737-900ER, 777-300ER
 
Dufo
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RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 7:39 am

Perhaps there's a need for audible/visual alert for predicted-actual runway heading disagreement, similar to flaps/gear/spoiler/trim/etc config alert.
I seriously think I just creamed my pants without any influence from any outside variables.
 
APFPilot1985
Posts: 1840
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RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:08 am

Quoting EmSeeEye (Reply 25):

Sorry if my profile is so vague and Thanks for the insight but I would much rather remain anoynomous. Yes I work in IT but I grew up in Aviation. I enjoy aviation now because I dont work in it. I am an A&P mechanic and I have my private pilots license with a little over 150 hours. My "focus" was in maintenance and yes... I went to Montreal for Bombardier training on the Challenger 600. (CL-600)

You're an IT manager and an A&P who works on the Challenger 600?
Stand Up and Be Counted Visit Site Related to Voice your opinion
 
AirWillie6475
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RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:29 am

This guys has said something very very true. While I do not agree that CRJs are not safe I do agree that they have horrible performance from my experience and talking to pilots. But his point is not about the aircraft as most here thinking, if you are not a pilot you will automatically dismiss what the guy is saying but if you actually know something about the industry you will agree with the post. Aviation industry is not going in the right direction.
 
AirWillie6475
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RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:33 am

Quoting Okie73 (Reply 11):
Aft of the wing, there are no exits....emergency or otherwise. If there is a fire, especially after a crash, people in the back would have to go toward the wing, which means toward the fuel source, to get out. Very, very poor design if you ask me.

You now that the distance from the back of the aircraft to the overwing exits is like a couple of feet right? By the way all aircraft have overwing exits are they all designed poorly?
 
CF188A
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RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:40 am

Seeing as how many of you refuse to think outside of the box.... and generalize planes to satisfy your super ego.... I'm going to for 10,000th time defend one of the best aircraft ever designed and I dont care if your qualified to pilot the Space Shuttle through the dam atmosphere.

THE Canadair " Regional " lets clarify that...... REGIONAL... AS IN REGION... AS IN SHORT DISTANCES..... yes regional .... starts with R ends with L and has egiona in the middle.......... was DESIGNED TO REVOLUTIONIZE "REGIONAL" there is that word again.... traffic routes. Rather than waste fuel for fun and buy a few thousand more DC-9s and Fokkers, it was thought that one needed a firm.... affordable replacement which could be smaller than the DC-9 , a Fan, and not a prop, perhaps an aircraft remotely comfortable( i think it is). If an airline puts you on that thing for more than 2 hours... well then I must say it is the Airlines fault you are unsatisfied, and it is the AIRLINES fault you feel like your legs have no feeling in them. If any of you have done your math.... if you were to calculate the Thrust to Weight ratio of the CRJ , you will actually notice it is HIGHER than the ERJ-145 . You will also notice ... for a small aircraft, both the ERJ AND CRJ, are powerful little buggers. The design aspect of the CRJ ... kept in mind short TO and landing, seeing as how it was predicted that every territory in the world would purchase a CRJ and not all runways are going to be how do we say ..... RUNWAY 22ISH??? Your going to experience everything from the Rockies, to the Swiss Alps, Tropics, everything, and you will not always have a 7000 foot runway . Now lets say Comair8191 knew they were going to be departing on runway 26, obviously some precautions based on weight and fuel would be taken into consideration previously so they could achieve lift. This came as a surprise to the crew as they were not prepared and their aircraft was set to depart runway 22. However they made a little boo boo which killed 49 people. My point....... THIS COULD HAVE HAPPENED TO ANY AIRCRAFT... MAKE, MANUFACTURER..........! ! ! Lets say a 747 was in the same scenario an 8000 foot runway. Aircraft departs skims tail .... tail breaks off everyone burns to death.... oh wait, this is to good to be true! I just had an epiphany ...MK Airlines flight 1602 ... departing Halifax NS ...14 October 2004.. tail strike .... crashes... they were apparently "over loaded" however it is evident that the pilot knew they were running out of runway and decided to proceed past V1 and rotate .... boom.

Now ..was it an engine design fault? an ATC fault? a pilot fault? a loading fault? .. that being said, did you have people in here saying... THE 747 IS THE WORST PIECE OF SH*T every designed by man ... ITS TO BIG... AND IT DOESN'T HANDLE WELL ... BLAH BLAH BLAH, whatever colorful crap people come up with in here. Of course not! Humorous isn't it? If you have someone so educated in the field of aviation, so prestigious... yet they blame an aircraft manufacturer when in reality it was all human error... one refusing to admit it was the responsibility of those in charge of the position of the AC. You know it makes perfect sense... the CRJ was designed so horribly! It's a flying bomb! But every major airline decided to purchase it in an attempt to kill passengers. Yes I think Delta has a short attention span, this was definitely their intention..... to purchase a plane which creates dangerous scenarios on every flight , so that eventually their passengers would eventually fry in a inferno.

This accident had NOTHING to do with the CRJ design. It has NOTHING to do with the engines. AND iT HAD NO TECHNICAL FLAW! The crap posted about the engines etc etc etc, is all crap, and its nothing more than a desperate attempt to point a finger at Bombardier (specifically the CRJ) because the individual doesn't have enough leg room.... and or cannot see out his bloody window because he needs to lower his head a little.... or maybe his preferred airline flew him from Los Angeles to New York on one! But DAMN.. it MUST BE THE AIRPLANES FAULT! .

This thread.... a "Pilot's" point of view lol ... lets just keep it plain and simple. You were not there, You were not at the controls. You can talk as to what should have been done, what might have been done, what WAS done (according to Delta.... (trying to keep out of lawsuits). But quite frankly, the actual cause is known only by two individuals. The ATC knows what went wrong, and i can bloody well assure you, the FO knows what went wrong. To play the game "brain damage" would be the smart thing to do ironically. But I put very little blame on the FO. He did his part and the Captain evidently did not do is. The FO should, of course , have spotted this omission . But hey, shit does happen . I would pay anything to hear the recording of that box on takeoff roll to see the actions of the pilots. Perhaps the FO wanted to abort but the Captain over ruled? We will never know.

There are way to many circumstances regarding this incident.

[Edited 2006-09-02 01:47:05]
Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die tomorrow~ RIP ... LJFM
 
AirWillie6475
Posts: 2372
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:45 pm

RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 9:03 am

Quoting CF188A (Reply 31):
But I put very little blame on the FO. He did his part and the Captain evidently did not do is. The FO should, of course , have spotted this omission .

Why is this? Both pilots have the responsibility of awareness.
 
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FLALEFTY
Posts: 836
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 11:33 am

RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 9:07 am

Quoting MD88Captain (Reply 9):
You may not like what he wrote (and it looks like it wasn't meant for publication), but he makes some excellent observations to go along with his opinions.

Right on!!!

I saw a news blurb that the lawsuits are starting to be filed and LEX's management is on the list. Why they kept that needless stub runway open will be an interesting legal challenge for their lawyers.

I'm a bit confused about the CRJ's questionable performance reputation. For instance, CRJ operatiors successfully negotiate the tiny, 4,500 ft. runway at EYW on a daily basis. But my guess is that Comair 5191 was fueled up at LEX for a multi-stop daily run, and with a near-full passenger load, was close to MTOW. I seriously doubt that RJ operators fuel up at EYW and the pilots are probably very careful with W&B numbers prior to takeoff.

Overall, the CRJ has had an excellent safety record - especially considering the large number of fairly-inexperienced pilots operating them. What happened at LEX last Sunday morning was a case of "Murphy's Law" at work. There was a tired controller. Added to a tired crew. And a confusing runway layout. Hidden in the dark - with light precipitation. Resulting in tragedy.
 
APFPilot1985
Posts: 1840
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 12:51 pm

RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 9:08 am

Quoting FLALEFTY (Reply 33):
For instance, CRJ operatiors successfully negotiate the tiny, 4,500 ft. runway at EYW on a daily basis.

That would be a -700 which has leading edge devices
Stand Up and Be Counted Visit Site Related to Voice your opinion
 
jumpseatflyer
Posts: 155
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 12:13 pm

RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 9:10 am

Quoting CF188A (Reply 31):
I would pay anything to hear the recording of that box on takeoff roll to see the actions of the pilots. Perhaps the FO wanted to abort but the Captain over ruled? We will never know.

Sure we will. Eventually.
 
philhyde
Posts: 574
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2003 2:16 am

RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 9:19 am

Quoting CF188A (Reply 31):
There are way to many circumstances regarding this incident.

 checkmark  checkmark  checkmark 

What I read into the original comments is not that the design of the aircraft caused this accident, but how well equipped (or not) is the CRJ to recover (or not) from a situation like this. For example, the thrust-to-weight ratio is irrelevant if the angle of attack cuts off air to the engines and they stall. I'm no expert, but I assume this is plausible.

Of course, any other aircraft would react slightly different in this exact situation. Maybe a DC-9 being larger would have had more survivors. The point here is that there were many dire circumstances which all together created possibly the worst takeoff accident one could have imagined for a CRJ.
Canon junkie - Aviation Nut
 
N231YE
Posts: 2620
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 9:24 am

RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 9:23 am

Quoting Gregtx (Reply 5):
The CRJ has an admirable safety and reliabilty record...and is the third most popular jet every produced---yet you find is full of crap? It's power to weight ratio is within the acceptable norms of most twinjets--it's not underpowered

While I am not taking sides, I have heard from mechanics that the original CRJs (not the 700s and 900s) were underpowered, the main side effect was a longer takeoff distance. But had the aircraft taken off from the right runway (whatever the final cause may be), then this wouldn't have been a problem.
 
RobertS975
Posts: 979
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 2:17 am

RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 10:02 am

MD88Captain, as far as you are currently aware, did any design feature of the CRJ cause this accident?
 
kellmark
Posts: 559
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2000 12:05 pm

RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 10:20 am

I had heard of the guy who wrote the letter in the first post from someone else. For someone who claims to be so experienced and knowledgeable he got some basic facts dead wrong. He claims the ATC tower opened at 6am. It was open and manned all night. Was there only one controller? Yes, but it was open. He claims it was raining. The weather reports did not show rain at the time of the accident or for several hours before.

He calls the CRJ a piece of ..... But what is his basis for that? It was a "business jet barge" .Mechanical problems, but he provides no actual details. Yet others have had excellent experience with the aircraft.

I have seen problems with Boeings, McDonnell Douglas, Airbii, and Embraers and many others in my experience in aviation. Does that make them crap? And some of those aircraft are also considered to be "underpowered" in certain circumstances. Any of those aircraft would have crashed if you tried to take off from a runway that was 1/2 the length it should have been.

He claims he "piloted" the CRJ aircraft, but does not claim a type rating for a Captaincy. I would bet that he has far less time in the CRJ (if any in reality)than the crew of the accident had, and certainly no experience as a Captain in that aircraft.

He claims that everyone in the aircraft was injured and could not escape and were bumed to death rather than killed by smoke inhalation. That would go against everything we know about post crash survivability experiences. While it is certainly possible that some may have burned to death, it is far more likely that smoke was the big killer. And how can he make such a claim anyway? Was he on the aircraft?

What I believe to be the bottom line here is that the NTSB will in fact determine the probable cause and contributing causes with a logical, detailed investigation. They will look at the flight crew's actions and their history and environment. They will also review the role of the airport layout, any weather issues, the ATC system, including manning, and the performance of and systems of the aircraft, as well as its survivability factors. And the management and culture of the airline as well as the FAA's oversight.

We can all speculate about all of this all we want. It seems crazy to imagine that this accident happened the way it appears to have happened. But to make the assertions as have been made in that "pilot's " letter is just way out of line.

His agenda and bitterness show through. He apparently is a former mainline pilot who seems to think that a "regional" jet by its name has to be unsafe and the crew inexperienced. As far as I am concerned, his credibility is crap. And his arrogance also is far beyond the pale. He has really jumped off a cliff in his assertions.

And of course he claims many more accidents to come, one can only assume due to the less safe and inexperience of regional air carriers. I guess he forgot about the B727 mainline accident in DFW with the flaps set wrong, or the MD80 in Detroit with the same problem with experienced mainline crews.

He must crave attention in his bitterness. This kind of spouting off innacurate stuff serves nobody, especially the passengers and crew of the aircraft that went down.
 
MD88Captain
Posts: 1224
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2001 9:50 am

RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 10:32 am

No, I am not aware of any design feature causing this accident. The results would be similar if the aircraft had been a EMB-170, ERJ, or 70 seat CRJ. They just ran out of runway. The divergence of this thread is tending toward the inadequacy of the 50 seat CRJ. I happen to think it isn't the greatest air machine ever to fly, but many may disagree. It doesnt really matter. History will tell us.

This is a human factors crash. There will be much to learn and much to blame. There always is.
 
Charliejag1
Posts: 226
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2006 4:48 am

RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 10:38 am

Quoting EmSeeEye (Reply 25):
pilots license with a little over 150 hours

Props to you. I would have typed differently if I had known that.

Quoting Philhyde (Reply 36):
What I read into the original comments is not that the design of the aircraft caused this accident, but how well equipped (or not) is the CRJ to recover (or not) from a situation like this.

Exactly!! CF188A's misguided rant about how the CRJ is a REGIONAL jet was out of place. As far as I can tell, nobody is saying the CRJ-100 is to blame. However, it is clear that there are certain aspects of its design and performance that gave the pilots less of a chance at recovery once they had made that fatal mistake. Although the aircraft complies with the FARs regarding design and performance, it COULD have more power. When socal says its underpowered, I am pretty sure he is not talking about regs at all. It is underpowered compared to the norm in terms of modern RJs. In my opinion, this is mostly because the CRJ-100 was one of the first RJ's designed.
 
CaptainJon
Posts: 546
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 3:21 am

RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 11:39 am

But wouldn't the heading be pointing towards the wrong direction even if they couldn't read the ground or the ATC didn't notice? Why didn't the pilot nor the F/O notice they were facing the wrong direction? Looking at the chart I can see how it can be confusing, but 22 and 26 is a big difference on the heading gauge.
 
CF188A
Posts: 680
Joined: Sun May 07, 2006 12:27 am

RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 11:42 am

Quoting Charliejag1 (Reply 41):
Exactly!! CF188A's misguided rant about how the CRJ is a REGIONAL jet was out of place. As far as I can tell, nobody is saying the CRJ-100 is to blame. However, it is clear that there are certain aspects of its design and performance that gave the pilots less of a chance at recovery once they had made that fatal mistake

I prefer to make my points quite clearly not to mention, I like to give an overall background as to why I state what I state. I do not hijack threads nor become obsessive compulsive (yourself) in a specific thread because someone has a different point of view . My point is valid and is not bias. It makes sense. If it disrupts your little anti-crj belief then thats your problem. For the record I posted because there are about 5 occurrences above where the CRJ is being attacked because of design specs. Something very far fetched in an accident similar to this one.
Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die tomorrow~ RIP ... LJFM
 
NIKV69
Posts: 13901
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 4:27 am

RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 12:13 pm

Quoting Scaredflyer21 (Reply 1):
The simple fact is that the pilots took off from the wrong runway.



Quoting Gregtx (Reply 5):
And 100% the fault of the crew. No one outside that cockpit pointed that aircraft down the wrong runway

Of course, but watch out the local anet NTSB will show up soon an start to give you factors that lead up to the crash.

Quoting Socalfive (Reply 13):
I think everyone familar with this accident would agree it is nothing long or short of Pilot error that caused this accident; end of story. However, I find what "professionals" have to say quite interesting that actually work in this field and deal with these issues day in and day out.

It is amazing how the pilots and trade people here take on a "God" persona when it comes to crashes. To the point where anyone else can not even have an opinion on the matter. This of course is BS and in reality no pilot or aviation person on this site will ever admit that a crash is total pilot error, but will hide behind the NTSB's famous "probable cause" agenda to try to divide blame.

As horrible as it is the pilots are to blame here.
90 Day Fiancé has taught me that Russian woman are excellent.
 
baron95
Posts: 1106
Joined: Thu May 25, 2006 10:19 am

RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 12:16 pm

Quoting CF188A (Reply 31):
If any of you have done your math.... if you were to calculate the Thrust to Weight ratio of the CRJ , you will actually notice it is HIGHER than the ERJ-145 . You will also notice ... for a small aircraft, both the ERJ AND CRJ, are powerful little buggers.

I am by no means blaming this on the airplane, but it is a KNOWN fact that the CRJ-100 was being severely performance limited for many of the missions that customers wanted to use it on. That is why the CRJ-200 was launched with slightly more powerful enjines and Continental had a configuration that restricted seating to 44 and MTOW below the CRJ-100 even though they had the same engines.

If you know so much about the performance of the CRJ-100, could you please look up and tell us the approximate ground roll distance on take-oof for the CRJ-100 under the LEX conditions? Given the time of year and time of day, if you don't want to lookup the weather at the airport, just assume ISA conditions 15C/no wind. I still think they should have been able to make it off the ground - they had 1500' of unobstructed grass overun to play with for the climb.

Thanks.
Killer Fleet: E190, 737-900ER, 777-300ER
 
CF188A
Posts: 680
Joined: Sun May 07, 2006 12:27 am

RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 12:29 pm

Quoting Baron95 (Reply 46):

If you know so much about the performance of the CRJ-100, could you please look up and tell us the approximate ground roll distance on take-oof for the CRJ-100 under the LEX conditions? Given the time of year and time of day, if you don't want to lookup the weather at the airport, just assume ISA conditions 15C/no wind. I still think they should have been able to make it off the ground - they had 1500' of unobstructed grass overun to play with for the climb.

Thanks.

Il sum it up for you... not enough runway space........ common bloody sense. If you are so confident they had plently of runway space why did they not lift off. Perhaps the aircraft was to heavy? Or maybe they were just taking off on the wrong damn runway? Once again nothing to do with the aircraft. If they did have all that was needed..winds, etc.. then it is obviously pilot error!

There that was easy.
Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die tomorrow~ RIP ... LJFM
 
baron95
Posts: 1106
Joined: Thu May 25, 2006 10:19 am

RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 12:30 pm

And there is another thing that I haven't seen mentioned. And that is that runway 22 is half as wide as runway 26. The crew landed there the day before and several times in the past.

I can buy the fact that they got confused by the closed taxiway, and that the runways intersect near the departure end etc...

But how the heck don't you notice that you are on a 75-foot wide runway rather than a 150-foot wide one.

Heck, a 75-foot wide runway gets my attention (as in I work harder to stay on center line) even when flying a Baron, vs the more comfortable feel of 100-foot or 150-foot wide.

I find it hard to excuse this flight crew - but I hope I am proven wrong and there is in fact a series of events that could have contributed to them making this mistake.
Killer Fleet: E190, 737-900ER, 777-300ER
 
baron95
Posts: 1106
Joined: Thu May 25, 2006 10:19 am

RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 12:37 pm

Quoting CF188A (Reply 47):
If you are so confident they had plently of runway space why did they not lift off.

First off I am asking the ground roll distance required because I obviously don't know it. I simply said I THINK they could have made it. I read on Wikipedia that the runway required was 3744 feet. I just don't know a) if that is correct and b) if that is the ballanced field lenght required or the actually calculated ground roll under the conditions. In either case we are pretty close to the 3500 runway length, so the flight manual is the only place to find answers.

I am afraid that they may have compounded their mistake by doing a leisure turn, a rolling take-off with power being fed gradually while rolling and using reduce power take off. I think it is very likely that if they used a maximum performance technique (max TO power prior to break release at the very begining of the runway) they would have made it.
Killer Fleet: E190, 737-900ER, 777-300ER
 
emseeeye
Posts: 351
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 3:50 am

RE: Comair Accident From Pilot's View

Sat Sep 02, 2006 12:40 pm

Quoting APFPilot1985 (Reply 28):

You're an IT manager and an A&P who works on the Challenger 600?

I'm in IT and used to be in aviation. I happened to work under a Director of Maintenance as a mechanic for a company that had a CL600. Call it an awakening or whatever you want but after realizing that I grew with my Father being gone quite a bit (he worked in corporate aviation) I didnt want that for my children. I finished my education with a business degree and moved into IT.

Enough about me.

Quoting Baron95 (Reply 46):
and Continental had a configuration that restricted seating to 44 and MTOW below the CRJ-100 even though they had the same engines.

That was for scope clause correct?

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