Delta ComAir Flight 5191 Crashes on Takeoff - 49 Dead, 1 Critical

27 August 2006: Flight 5191, a Comair Delta connections flight, went down at 6:07 a.m. about a mile west of Lexington Bluegrass airport, Comair said. The non-stop flight was scheduled to leave at 6 a.m. and arrive at Atlanta’ Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport at 7:18 a.m.

Although the cause of the crash is not yet known, this agency confirmed that the FBI is enroute to the crash site.

UPDATE: 11:35 AM 27 August 2006
Sean Osborne
Associate Director, Senior Analyst, Military Affairs

Based upon my carefull review of Bomardier CRJ-100 regional jet specifications, and having seen a live streaming video feed from a Lexington, Kentucky television station, as well as detailed satellite composite imagery of the Bluegrass Airport, it seems certain and is my assessment that Comair Flight 5191 executed its takeoff from the incorrect runway.

Facts I cite in making this assessment are as follows:

The ground impact markings and final site of the aircraft on the ground are consistent with an east to west departure from Runway 26/8.

Comair Flight 5191 impacted the ground a very short distance and in a straight line from the end of Runway 26/8, which on its western end is designated as runway 8 and is the nearest point to the impact site.

The length of this runway, which appears to be undergoing improvements of its surface, is approximately 3500 feet.

The primary runway at Bluegrass Airport, Runway 22/4, is 7,000 feet in length.

This Comair Bombardier CRJ-200 regional jet aircraft requires a minimum takeoff distance of 5,800 feet at the maximum takeoff weight of 51,000 lbs.