A FAA Violation Found
Federal Investigators continue to look at all the elements that led to the Comair crash in Lexington, Ky. on Sunday Aug. 27, 2006, including the work hours of the air traffic controller on duty at the airport.
The air traffic controller was working the overnight shift alone with very little down time. The NTSB says the controller had worked more than 14 out of the previous 24 hours and apparently had just two hours of sleep between shifts. Federal Crash Investigators reveal at the time of the Comair crash the air traffic controller was not only doing two jobs he was doing them on two hours of sleep.
On Saturday Aug. 26, 2006, he went on duty at 6:30 a.m. and went off duty at 2:30 p.m.. He then had nine hours off. He went back on duty at 11:30 PM, and was scheduled to be on duty until 8 a.m. the next morning.
Federal officials earlier confirmed to CNN the controller was working alone in violation of FAA policy and performing both radar and ground traffic duties. The Comair jet was his 17th flight of the night. He gave clearance for takeoff while guiding another flight on radar. A review of tower tape shows that he was vectoring the American Eagle flight around weather at the time that he was working the accident airplane.
A Memorial Service Held for Family Members
On Wednesday Aug. 30, 2006, a caravan of buses carried family members to the scene of the crash. Authorities were out in force to insure privacy. At the Lexington Bluegrass Airport, a large lighted barricade has been erected at each end of the short runway where Flight 5191 made its tragic wrong turn. Less than a hundred yards away a memorial continues to grow as people, touched by the tragedy, bring flowers and notes of sympathy.
Families of the Comair Flight 5191 crash victims held another memorial service for their loved ones earlier today.
Around 400 family members gathered at the Lexington opera house, along with Governor Fletcher, Lexington’s mayor, first responders on the crash scene and National Transportation Safety Board officials. The Red Cross organized the ceremony and a spokeswoman for the organization said it was very emotional when a candle was lite for each of the victims.
Victims Released to Their Loved Ones
The bodies of many of the Comair airline crash victims will be released to the Fayette County coroner. Coroner, Gary Ginn will oversee their return to the families.
All 49 victims of the Flight 5191 crash have been identified. Kentucky’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Tracey Corey says testing has not been finished on eleven bodies which is expected to delay their release for a couple of days. Corey said autopsies showed a variety of causes of death, including blunt traumatic injuries and fire-related causes.