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The only air traffic controller on duty when a plane crashed in Kentucky on Sunday, killing 49 people, had his back turned at the time, investigators said.
Originally posted by Yossarian
Did someone not say that it was normal to have only one controller in an airport of that size at that time?
Originally posted by snafu7700
youre both right and wrong. during the time of this incident, there was only one controller in the tower, which is a normal procedure for midnight shifts. he was working all positions: local, ground, and data. if he cleared them to runway 26 then he is partially at fault. but i'll bet you a weeks salary that he cleared them to runway 22. wait for the tapes. it will sound something like this:
"comair 5191, taxi to runway 22, cross runway 26."
"roger, taxi to runway 22, cross runway 26."
"tower, comair 5191 ready for departure."
"roger, comair 5191 runway 22, wind two five zero at 5, cleared for takeoff."
"roger, cleared for takeoff."
probably not exactly that, but pretty darn close. again, i think the pilot was in a hurry, saw runway 26, didnt take the time to verify where he was, and departed. the controller, being the only guy in the tower at the time, probably read the clearance and went on to other duties. now, he is supposed to keep his eyes out the windows at all times, and will probably be partially at fault for not catching the pilots mistake (and i wouldnt want to be the guy to have to live with the knowledge that i could have saved the day), but in the end, the pilot has sole responsibility for the safety of the aircraft, as per federal aviation regulations. unless there is a mitigating circumstance that they arent reporting, its a pretty clear cut case of pilot error.
edit to correct callsign.
[edit on 28-8-2006 by snafu7700]