Plane Crashes in KY, Kills 49

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Aug 27, 2006 4:25 PM

Totally un-terror related. The pilot thought he was on a longer runway than he was. He hit the end of the runway when there was no time for him to stop, so he pulled up and tried to get her in the air.

The pilots apparently rolled out on a runway that's too short for the regional jet they were flying _ a CRJ200 _ to take off.The plane was up, but only for a very short time. There was one survivor pulled from the wreckage.

There's some talk of whether the passengers could have been evacuated before the crashed plane burst into flames.

Accident investigators will be taking a meticulous look at the series of events that led to a regional jet apparently taking off the wrong runway and whether it might have been possible to evacuate passengers before it erupted in flames.The fuselage was apparently intact but engulfed in a devastating fire when rescuers reached it, authorities said. The first officer was taken from the airplane in critical condition...

The fuselage was apparently intact but engulfed in a devastating fire when rescuers reached it, authorities said. The first officer was taken from the airplane in critical condition.

The passengers and crew appeared to still be on the plane and the deaths were caused either by the impact or the "hot fire" on board, said Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn, referring to the Kentucky crash site.

The lone survivor is in critical condition, according to TV reports. More here.

The only survivor, believed to be the flight's first officer, according to airport director Michael Gobb, was in surgery at the University of Kentucky hospital Sunday morning.

Bornhorst identified the three crew members as Capt. Jeffrey Clay, who was hired by Comair in 1999, first officer James M. Polehinke, who was hired in 2002, and flight attendant Kelly Heyer, hired in 2004.

Oh, dear. Among the victims were former Kentucky baseball player Jon Hooker and his new bride Scarlett, on the way to their honeymoon destination after being married Saturday.

The end of the "safest period in aviation history:"

The crash marks the end of what has been called the "safest period in aviation history" in the United States. There has not been a major crash since Nov. 12, 2001, when American Airlines Flight 587 plunged into a residential neighborhood in the Queens borough of New York City, killing 265 people, including five on the ground.