|Quoting ThirtyEcho (Reply 40):|
Why? The same mistakes as always: complacency, lack of crew training, lack of crosschecks, lack of healthy suspicion, routine-itis, every word that Ernie Gann ever wrote.
Bravo. In short, lack of airmanship.
|Quoting N231YE (Reply 39):|
But the FAA should have better-staffed LEX, to reduce the workload off the ATC, so he could have maintained visual with flight 191 during its departure
Had that even remotely been his job, he would have done so and could have done so. He was not overworked by any stretch of the imagination. There was NO traffic in the area at the time. Nobody arriving. Nobody else departing. The previous departures were several minutes off and already talking to departure control. The guy had various administrative tasks to do, but absolutely nothing pressing to do. He turned to the next task because his JOB was to clear the aircraft for takeoff on the correct runway, which he did. It was not his job to watch them and make sure that they went to the correct runway. In his 17 years in that tower, over thousands of departures, had it been his job this likely would have been the only time he saw this happen. And the "mighta/coulda" stuff really isn't relevant here as to the controller. There was so much more "mighta/coulda" stuff going on that pertained to the actual flight deck crew, so very many signs that they ignored that this wasn't the right runway.
If there's a criticism of the controller to be had, it is that he accepted a "roger" as a readback on the takeoff clearance. He could have demanded a proper readback, but didn't. MAYBE that would have pulled their heads out of their butts, although I think it unlikely. Remember, these guys never lined up and stopped; the captain turned the corner, said "Your aircraft" and the f/o hit the gas. The NTSB has expressly said that they never stopped rolling from the time they left the gate until rotation. If there's a legitimate human factors issue in all of this discussion, it's a rolling transfer of control. Quite possibly the f/o was doing other things while the captain was taxiing, and wasn't paying attention as to what runway the cap lined him up on. That, in my view, is a legitimate CRM/Human Factors issue: should rolling departures be permitted when they involve a transfer of control? Should the f/o, upon taking control, be required to go through some minimal challenge/response protocol to ensure that certain things are proper? Probably not, actually, as a proper predeparture briefing should have covered all those things already. The rest of this stuff is just insignificant. Hell, they ignored the runway signs with the big numbers on them, the runway lights, the numbers painted on the runway, the surface of the runway, the width of the runway, the nature of the runway lighting or absence thereof, the fact that they CROSSED a properly-lit runway on departure, while knowing that LEX
has only one runway that they could use, and on and on. It's exactly what Thirty-Echo says, and very little more.
I still wonder what that poor Airtran f/o who lived in LEX
, sitting in the back because he wasn't jumpseat-qualified on Comair, thought during those few seconds that he had to realize that these boneheads were departing on the wrong runway.