A Brief History
On August 27, 2006, Comair Flight 5191, a connecting flight from Lexington, Kentucky to Atlanta, Georgia, crashed, killing all aboard the aircraft except a single survivor. Not only is the “sole survivor” fact amazing, but it was the man that was piloting the plane during the crash!
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The Bombardier CRJ-100 twin jet airliner that can carry 50 passengers plus an aircrew, crashed when it was attempting take off from the wrong runway, flying from runway #26 when the tower had assigned it runway #22. The problem arose because runway #26 was too short for that type of plane.
The pilot flying the jetliner, James Polehinke, was actually the first officer, or what is commonly thought of as “co-pilot” of the airplane, and it was he that survived the crash, although later investigation showed that it was the actual main pilot that had chosen the wrong runway.
The jet never really got off the ground, striking a berm at the end of the runway and briefly going airborne before crashing down. The crash and fire killed everyone except Polehinke, who sadly suffered the loss of his left leg and brain damage.
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For more information, please see…
Arvai, Ernest and Addison Schonland. Bombardier’s CRJ – Rumors of its Demise are Greatly Exaggerated. Kindle, 2019.
The featured image in this article, a photograph by NTSB of Comair Flight 5191 (N431CA) wreckage, is a work of a National Transportation Safety Board employee, taken or made as part of an employee’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, all NTSB images are in the public domain in the United States.
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