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More on Flight 5191:   Plane crash archive

DAVID STEPHENSON | STAFF
Michael Gobb, director of Blue Grass Airport, wiped away tears while visiting a memorial at the airport honoring all who died on Comair Flight 5191.
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SPECIAL REPORT | Sept. 3, 2006
Torn too soon from the fabric of our life

Tim Snoddy left half a cup of coffee on the counter, a pair of polished riding boots on the floor and a raft of open court cases behind when he boarded Flight 5191 last Sunday.
ABOARD FLIGHT 5191 |   Online guestbook | FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS
(Updated 10:01 a.m. ET, Sept. 1)
• Rebecca Adams, 47, Harrodsburg | Profile
• Lyle Anderson, 55, Ottawa, Ont.| Profile
• Christina Anderson, 38, Inglewood, Ont. | Profile
• Arnold Andrews, 64, Tampa, Fla. Profile
• Anne Marie Bailey, 49, Vancouver, B.C. | Profile
• Bobbie Benton, 50, Stanford | Profile
• Jesse Clark Benton, 48, Stanford | Profile
• Carole Bizzack, 64, Lexington | Profile
• George Brunacini, 60, Georgetown | Profile
• Brian Byrd, 28, Richmond | Profile
• Jeffrey Clay, 35, Burlington | Profile
• Diane Combs, 52, Lexington | Profile
• Homer Combs, 51, Lexington | Profile
• Fenton Dawson, 46, Lexington | Profile
• Thomas Fahey, 26, Leawood, Kan. | Profile
• Mike Finley 52, London | Profile
• Clarence Wayne Fortney II, 34, Lexington | Profile
• Wade Bartley Frederick, 44, Danville | Profile
• Hollie Gilbert, 34, Somerset | Profile
•  Erik Harris, 28, Lexington Profile
• Kelly Heyer, 27, Cincinnati area | Profile
• Jonathan Hooker, 27, London | Profile
• Scarlett Parsley Hooker, 23, London | Profile
• Priscilla Johnson, 44, Lexington | Profile
• Nahoko Kono, 31, Lexington | Profile
• Tetsuya Kono, 34, Lexington | Profile
• Charles Lykins, 46, Naples, Fla. | Profile
• Dan Mallory, 55, Bourbon County | Profile
• Steve McElravy, 57, Hagerstown, Md. | Profile
• Lynda McKee, 57, Richmond | Profile
• Bobby Meaux, 31, Harrodsburg | Profile
• Kaye Craig Morris, 57, Lexington | Profile
• Leslie Morris, 72, Lexington | Profile
• Cecile Moscoe, 29, Richmond | Profile
• Judy Ann Rains, 35, Richmond | Profile
• Michael Ryan, 55, Lexington | Profile
• Mary Jane Silas, 58, Columbus, Miss. | Profile
• Pat Smith, 58, Lexington | Profile
• Tim Snoddy, 51, Lexington | Profile
• Marcie Thomason, 25, Washington, D.C. | Profile
• Greg Threet, 35, Lexington | Profile
• Randy Towles, 47, Waterton, N.Y. | Profile
• Larry Turner, 51, Lexington | Profile
• Victoria Washington, 54, Richmond | Profile
• Jeff Williams, 49, Lexington | Profile
• Paige Winters, 16, Leawood, Kan. | Profile
• Bryan Woodward, 39, Lafayette, La. | Profile
• JoAnn Wright, 56, Cincinnati | Profile
• Betty Young, 74, Lexington | Profile
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - AUG. 28
CRASH KILLS 49
'We are families and friends of the victims'

Comair 5191 never made it much beyond the moist green earth from which it had broken free. An hour before sunrise in clearing weather, the airplane with 50 souls aboard ran out of runway. The Atlanta-bound plane lasted less than a minute aloft before falling a mile west of the airport, casting 50,000 pounds of debris and jet fuel about as it all burned mercilessly to a halt.

DAVID STEPHENSON | STAFF
A commuter jet bound for Atlanta crashed on take off from Bluegrass Airport in Lexington, Ky., just before dawn Sunday, killing 49 of the 50 people on board. The tail of the plane is visible in the trees at lower left. More photos
Debbie Hersman, a spokesperson with the National Transportation Safety Board, speaks to reporters at a press conference Sunday Aug. 27, 2006 in Lexington, Ky regarding the crash of Comair Flight 5191. Preliminary flight data from the plane's black boxes and the damage at the scene indicate the plane took off from the shortest runway at Blue Grass Airport, Hersman said.
Federal officials confirm pilot did not use correct runway

Federal authorities confirmed last night that preliminary information from a downed Comair jet showed the pilot took off from the wrong runway, causing the plane to crash near Blue Grass Airport yesterday.
NTSB fears runway blunders
MISTAKE ON LANDING OR TAKEOFF CAN BE CATASTROPHIC

The National Transportation Safety Board has long been concerned about "runway incursions" and "pilot deviations" -- code words for runway blunders that can have catastrophic results.
Comair President Don Bornhorst, a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, said he was devasted by the crash.
Comair president feels devastated
CRASH 'NOT GOING TO HELP THEM,' SAYS UK ECONOMIST

Although struggling financially, Comair and its parent, Delta Air Lines, moved quickly yesterday to respond to the crash of Flight 5191 near Lexington's Blue Grass Airport.
Churches pray for victims and their families
SOME LEARNED OF CRASH AT SERVICE OR ON THE WAY

At South Elkhorn Baptist Church yesterday evening, the service was interrupted repeatedly by the wail of emergency vehicles. Pastor Damon Jones knew what the sounds meant.
Commuter craft 'very typical regional aircraft'
CRJ-100 WAS MADE IN CANADA, LOGGED 12,000 FLIGHTS

The Comair Delta connections flight that crashed at Blue Grass Airport is a CRJ-100 series plane made by Bombardier Aerospace of Toronto, Canada. It had logged 12,000 flights and 14,500 flight hours since Comair purchased it in January 2001.
News gatherers worldwide descend on Bluegrass for view of latest disaster

It's not the kind of worldwide media attention any city wants. But, with yesterday's crash at Blue Grass Airport, Lexington joined Hurricane Ernesto and Fox News journalists being released in Gaza at the top of news cycles everywhere.
Hotel is epicenter of grief
DELTA AIRLINES WILL COVER LODGING COSTS FOR FAMILIES

They came in groups and alone, faces stoic, steps quick. Then they left, often slow and unsteady, walking through the late August heat back to their cars and to lives forever changed.
Bodies of victims are being autopsied in Frankfort
FAMILIES ARE ASKED TO PROVIDE DENTAL RECORDS

The bodies of all 49 crash victims have been taken to the state central laboratory in Frankfort for autopsies and identification. By 8:30 p.m. last night, when the work was ending for the night, the initial autopsies had been performed on 16 to 17 bodies, said Stacy Floden, spokeswoman for the state Justice and Public Safety Cabinet.
Emmys plane-crash spoof left LEX 18 manager 'horrified'

LEX 18 News ended an evening recap of yesterday's coverage of the Comair Flight 5191 crash for the live broadcast of the prime-time Emmy Awards. The annual TV awards show opened with shots of host Conan O'Brien bouncing inside a plane before it crashed on an island in a spoof of ABC's hit show Lost.

DAVID STEPHENSON | STAFF
Chief Deputy Richard A. Head, right, with the Fayette County Sheriff's Department helped direct family members who arrived at the airport for more information. More photos
'My heart goes out to everyone's family'
MOOD IS SOMBER AMONG WORKERS, PASSENGERS

At noon yesterday, Darrell Patton left the terminal at Blue Grass Airport, glad to be headed back home to Leslie County. His 1:30 p.m. flight to Chicago was canceled after the early-morning crash of Comair Flight 5191 a few minutes after takeoff.
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - AUG. 29
Pilots noticed lack of runway lights
Survivor was at controls, says NTSB

The pilots of Comair Flight 5191 noticed there were no lights on the runway they were using as they took off from Blue Grass Airport Sunday morning, a National Transportation Safety Board member said last night, but from all indications they never tried to stop.
Jeffrey Clay
Captain was well-rested, wife says
FAMILY HAD DINNER TOGETHER NIGHT BEFORE

The wife of the Comair 5191 captain said yesterday he was a "by-the-book" pilot who flew out of Blue Grass Airport frequently and was well-rested when he boarded the plane.
First responders kept their poise
BUT TRAINING DIDN'T PREPARE THEM FOR THIS

Many died instantly. Perhaps two, maybe more, passengers on Comair 5191 had crawled out of the plane past a mound of debris and through a large opening in the cockpit. Everything was on fire.
Coroner says most were killed by impact
GINN INITIALLY SAID THEY PROBABLY DIED IN THE FIRE

Many of the 49 people killed in Sunday's plane crash in Lexington died on impact and "very few" had smoke in their lungs or windpipes, Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn said last night.
NTSB follows set procedure
'Go team' collects evidence at scene, spends months analyzing

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board will follow a well-scripted process to determine what happened to Flight 5191, the Comair commuter plane that crashed at Blue Grass Airport Sunday morning.
08/29/2006 12:59 AM EST
D.C. veteran becomes NTSB's public face

Debbie Hersman, a former Democratic congressional aide, has become the public face and voice for the chief federal agency investigating Sunday's fatal crash of Comair Flight 5191.
In-the-air expertise pays off on the air
Shuck's aviation expertise brought depth to coverage

Since he was a boy growing up near Blue Grass Airport, WKYT chief meteorologist T.G. Shuck has had dual interests in aviation and weather.
Tragedy hits two Lexington schools hard
LEXINGTON CHRISTIAN, SCAPA LOSE 'FAMILY'

Nearly everyone at Lexington Christian Academy knows the Turner family. Lois Turner, a founding member of the school and currently a middle-school math teacher, has been involved there for almost three decades. Her husband, Larry Turner, was often in attendance at school activities with their three children, Molly, 25, Amy, 22, and Clay, 18, who all graduated from Lexington Christian.
'Nothing ... prepares you for this'

People inside and outside Lexington's Crowne Plaza Campbell House offered any help they could yesterday to relatives of the 49 people who died in the crash of Comair Flight 5191.
Witness: It bounced, clipped trees
Account of last seconds matches scrapes, markings

As Comair Flight 5191 reached the end of Blue Grass Airport's shorter runway, it broke through an 8-foot chain-link fence, bounced off the ground and was almost airborne until it brushed a clump of trees, a witness said yesterday.
Survivor in coma; called 'a fighter'
DOCTORS AT UK ARE CONSIDERING AMPUTATION

The lone survivor of Sunday's Comair crash clung to life last night. James M. Polehinke, the co-pilot pulled from the burning jet's cockpit and last night confirmed by officials to be at the controls, was in a coma and on life support yesterday. Doctors were considering amputating one of his legs, family friends said.
Harsh blow reminds us of death's randomness

The passengers boarding Comair Flight 5191 Sunday morning didn't know they would die within minutes. They hadn't done anything wrong, hadn't contributed to their demise.
Flags ordered to half-staff

Gov. Ernie Fletcher yesterday ordered that flags at all state office buildings be flown at half-staff in remembrance of the 49 people who died in Sunday's plane crash in Lexington.
Fletcher praises crews
CUTS TRIP SHORT; SUGGESTS CLOSING SHORTER RUNWAY

Gov. Ernie Fletcher yesterday said those who responded to the crash of Comair Flight 5191 were "remarkable and heroic." Fletcher, who cut short a trip to Germany to return to Kentucky after the crash, also said he was going to meet with family members last night to offer any assistance the state can give.
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - AUG. 30
Tower should have had 2 controllers
FAA acknowledges it broke its own rules

The Federal Aviation Administration acknowledged yesterday that it violated its own rule by having only one air-traffic controller, rather than two, monitoring the Blue Grass Airport on Sunday.
Experts baffled that so many built-in safeguards overlooked

It's been the question on everyone's mind since Comair Flight 5191 crashed Sunday, killing 49 people: How could the plane end up on the wrong runway?
First officer emerges from induced coma but still in critical condition

Sitting on the beach near her Sunny Isles, Fla., home on Saturday, Honey Jackson picked up her cell phone to call her son, pilot James Polehinke who lives nearby.
Airport opens memorial site

Blue Grass Airport has opened a temporary memorial site for the victims of Comair Flight 5191. The memorial site is near the scenic wall mural, accessible through the airport's "cell phone waiting lot."
Memorial services scheduled for victims
LOCAL GOVERNMENT, VARIOUS CHURCHES MAKE PLANS
A somber community is gathering to remember those who died in Sunday's crash of Comair Flight 5191. In Lexington, the Urban County Government is planning to hold a countywide service, according to Mayor Teresa Isaac's office. A date for the non-denominational service has not been set.
Pilots had flown out of Blue Grass several times

The pilots of ill-fated Comair Flight 5191 both arrived in Lexington at least 14 hours before the crash and had flown into Blue Grass Airport several times, although not since its runway was repaved two weeks ago.

CHARLES BERTRAM | STAFF
An investigator walked yesterday along the path of scorched earth left by Comair Flight 5191 when it crashed early Sunday shortly after takeoff from Blue Grass Airport.
Scorched earth, the smell of jet fuel
Impressions from the first reporters and photographers at the site
A line of Lexington police officers stood at attention around yellow police tape, guarding the spot where 49 people lost their lives on Comair Flight 5191 early Sunday morning.

Left to right, Comair Cpt Jeffrey Clay & First Officer James M. Polehinke,
»  More photos
Airport plan calls for moving Runway 26

Even before a Comair plane crashed after using the wrong runway, Blue Grass Airport was moving ahead with plans to relocate that runway and separate it from the longer main runway.
Coroner did his duty knowing sister on plane
FELT HE COULD DO MORE GOOD AT CRASH SITE THAN WORRYING

Bill Demrow had a tough decision to make Sunday morning as he drove to meet other members of a state team who were preparing to recover bodies from the wreckage of Comair Flight 5191.
Aviation law experts weigh in on potential lawsuits
COMAIR, DELTA, FAA MENTIONED AS DEFENDANTS

Potential defendants in any wrongful-death lawsuit filed as a result of Sunday's crash of Comair Flight 5191 include the airline and its parent company, Delta Air Lines, said attorneys who have represented victims and their families in air-crash litigation.
Identification packets assembled for 30 crash victims
MATERIALS HELP I.D. PROCESS; BODIES STILL DAYS FROM RELEASE

Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn said yesterday that his office has handed 30 identification packages to the State Central Laboratory in Frankfort to help identify Flight 5191 crash victims.
Prayers for the fallen
Friends, family attend service for victims; Habitat dedication honors volunteer

Pat Smith helped Evelyn Maison bring her adopted child from Ghana to Lexington six years ago. Maison sat through a prayer service for Smith and other victims of the Comair Flight 5191 crash at the Cathedral of Christ the King yesterday evening. And then she got down on her knees and prayed for her fallen friend.
Comair head has lived, breathed company for years

Don Bornhorst credits his father with putting him on the road to a career in the airline industry. His dad, a teacher, gave Bornhorst 100 shares of Comair stock in the early 1980s, a few years after Comair first flew in 1977 and shortly before Don Bornhorst entered Eastern Kentucky University.
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - AUG. 31
Day of mourning
Families visit crash site

Traffic parted on Versailles Road for six Wildcat-blue buses carrying family members of the 49 victims of Comair Flight 5191. Grieving relatives who looked out the bus windows saw a long line of staff members from Southland Christian Church, holding homemade signs reading "God loves you" and "You are in our prayers."
08/31/2006 08:16 AM EST
Going online to express grief
BLOGGING HELPS BROTHER OF VICTIM

Erik Heyer began his blog Sunday this way. "My younger brother, Kelly James Heyer, died this morning on Delta Flight 5191 as it was taking off from Lexington, Ky. Kelly was 27."
 Gov. Ernie Fletcher was among those who attended the service at Centenary United Methodist Church, where candles commemorated the victims.
Prayer service draws connections far, wide
Tragedy touches many, pastor says

Bonnie Erdeman of Lexington didn't know anyone on Comair Flight 5191, but she went to the community prayer service at Centenary United Methodist anyway. Someone in her Sunday school class knew someone as did her sister.
Most of bodies have been identified
FAYETTE CORONER, STATE OFFICIALS IN DISPUTE OVER NUMBER

All 49 victims of Sunday's plane crash in Lexington have been positively identified, and all but 11 have been turned over to the Fayette County coroner's office for release to families, Gov. Ernie Fletcher said at a news conference yesterday.
Controller had two hours of sleep before shift

The lone air-traffic controller on duty at Blue Grass Airport when Comair Flight 5191 crashed Sunday morning had slept only two hours before starting his shift at 11:30 p.m. Saturday, the chief federal investigator into the crash said last night.
Tower rules long ignored
FAA OFFERS NO EXPLANATIONS

News that the Federal Aviation Administration had violated its own policies by failing to properly staff the Blue Grass Airport control tower the day of the deadly Comair crash created headlines around the country.
Law firms' ads don't comply with bar rules
SOLICITATIONS REMOVED FROM NEWSPAPER

Three ads in yesterday's Lexington Herald-Leader from lawyers trying to contact family members of the 49 people killed in Sunday's plane crash failed to comply with state advertising rules for lawyers.
Comair withholds 6 names from list

Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn met last night with family members of those who died in the crash of Comair Flight 5191. Before going into a meeting with family members at the Crowne Plaza Campbell House in Lexington, Ginn said he did not know when he would complete next-of-kin notifications for each of the 49 people killed in Sunday's crash.
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - SEPT. 1
Tower staffing inquiry urged
Congressmen split on how many controllers needed

Leading Democrats on the House Transportation Committee have called for an inquiry into control tower staffing in the wake of "disturbing reports" that the Lexington tower was understaffed at the time of Sunday's fatal crash.
 Marion C. Blakey, head of the FAA, denied contentions that there is an air controller shortage.
THE FAA CHIEF
Second controller would have been watching radar

The head of the Federal Aviation Administration said yesterday a second air traffic controller in the Blue Grass Airport tower would not necessarily have seen Comair Flight 5191 take off from the wrong runway.
All 49 bodies have been identified, released
PREPARED TO BE RELEASED TO FAMILIES

The state medical examiner's office yesterday completed its final scientific tests to positively identify all 49 victims of Flight 5191, which enabled the Fayette County coroner's staff to notify the families that the bodies could be released to funeral homes.
Airport board calls meeting to 'discuss proposed litigation'

The Blue Grass Airport board has called an emergency meeting for 8 a.m. today to "discuss proposed litigation" in closed session, but the exact reason for the meeting was not known yesterday.
MONITORING THE LAWYERS
The U.S. attorney's office warns against contacting families

The U.S. attorney's office has joined in warning lawyers that they will be fined if they violate federal laws barring unsolicited communications with family members of Flight 5191 crash victims.
Matter of luck
Two tell of surviving major jetliner crashes

Relatively few people live to tell about the terror of riding a jetliner as it plummets to earth. Kendra St. Charles-Hall, who is in the process of moving from Ohio to Louisville, and Lexington's Paul Fast are two of the lucky ones -- members of an exclusive group of more than 2,500 people who have survived major U.S. air crashes since 1982.
Community's compassionate response noted

Comair Flight 5191 is a disaster of national scope, but hometown helpers also have been on the scene. Volunteers from the Lexington chapters of the Salvation Army and American Red Cross have been dishing up meals, providing counseling, even delivering 52 toys and teddy bears to the children of victims' families.
'A message of hope'
Service held for family members

Forty-nine candles were lit at the Lexington Opera House yesterday morning -- each representing one of the victims of Comair Flight 5191 -- near the end of a solemn and private memorial service for the passengers and crew members lost when the plane crashed Sunday morning.
 C.W. Fortney II, a pilot for Air Tran Airlines, was a passenger on Comair flight 5191
Man's dream became reality
Fortney grew up with a passion to fly

When Sarah King Fortney took her husband's pilot's uniform out of the closet this week so she could display it at his funeral, their 16-month-old son, Calvin James, kept touching it. He even tried to put it on.
'You'll never be the same again'
PILOT'S WIFE PRAISES SURGEON'S CARE

The University of Kentucky surgeon who is coordinating medical care for the lone survivor from the crash of Comair Flight 5191always warns the severely injured.
Comair's care team quick to activate
VOLUNTEERS SERVE AS LIAISONS, PERSONAL HELPERS

The Rev. T.H. Peoples has spent five decades witnessing life's struggles firsthand. "You can tell when someone is with you and when they are genuine," said Peoples, who is helping the families of cousins Priscilla Johnson of Lexington and JoAnn Wright of Cincinnati.
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - SEPT. 2
Past incidents may hold clues
Air safety reports show runway mistakes in 1990s

Pilots have inadvertently taxied to the wrong runway at Blue Grass Airport at least three times since 1993. On two occasions, either the pilot or someone in the control tower caught the mistake.
Joshua Adams said the suit was filed to find out why the crash happened.
2 victims' families file first lawsuits
VENUES: FAYETTE CIRCUIT COURT, FEDERAL COURT IN COVINGTON

Two lawsuits were filed yesterday by families of Comair Flight 5191 victims, the first of what attorneys say will be many against the airline and government agencies in Sunday's crash that killed 49 people at Blue Grass Airport.
Wayne Turner smiled as he recalled memories of his brother from their childhood.
'It'll feel better when it quits hurting'

White linen handkerchiefs were placed in the chairs of Larry Turner's wife, two daughters and son before his funeral, because at times like these people forget the things they'll need the most.
Clark, Bobbie Benton left a legacy

Five white doves were released from baskets at the conclusion of yesterday's funeral for Clark and Bobbie Benton, two of the 49 people who died in Sunday's crash of Comair Flight 5191.
Michael Ryan: Wife thought she had 'dodged a bullet' after his bypass surgery
His gregarious nature, Irish accent and stubborn persistence made Michael Ryan the perfect closer. Ryan, 55, left Ireland in 1981 and became a successful stockbroker in Kentucky, where he helped found one of Lexington's first locally owned investment firms.
Mother watched daughter boarding; she had planned to be on same flight

Joan Winters didn't hug her daughter before the girl boarded Comair Flight 5191. "I still have second thoughts about not hugging her," Winters said yesterday in a telephone interview.
UK official hailed for strength, faith, humility

When Larry Turner's father died, Turner wrote in his journal that his dad had long been his rock. Clay Turner tearfully used those same words yesterday about his own dad, Larry, who died in the crash of Flight 5191. He prays he lives up to the standard both men set.
WRECKAGE LEAVES LEXINGTON

CHARLES BERTRAM | STAFF
Some of the wreckage from Comair Flight 5191 left Lexington yesterday southbound on I-75, headed for Atlanta, where it will undergo further investigation.
Ad flap prompts law panel's investigation

The Kentucky Bar Association named a special task force yesterday to look into complaints of improper conduct by lawyers who put ads in the Herald-Leader on Wednesday to make contact with families of Comair Flight 5191 crash victims.
TO OUR READERS

As a matter of policy, the Lexington Herald-Leader regularly publishes ads for businesses, services and products we believe are legal. The decision isn't based on whether we agree with them.
Errors are reported, but never eliminated
SYSTEM CAN'T PREVENT HUMANS' DISTRACTIONS

"It was my first (position) of the day. I had just come from my daughter's birthday party and my mind was not on ATC," or air traffic control.
 Marion C. Blakey, head of the FAA, denied contentions that there is an air controller shortage.
Controllers say they'll have to work when tired
THEY CITE NEW FAA CONTRACT THAT TAKES EFFECT THIS WEEKEND

Air traffic controllers said yesterday they will be forced to work even when they're tired after the Federal Aviation Administration imposes a new contract this weekend.
Fletcher returns to Germany
GOVERNOR TO ATTEND EQUESTRIAN CLOSING

Gov. Ernie Fletcher, who returned to Kentucky from Germany last Monday after the crash of Comair Flight 5191, left the state yesterday to return to Germany.
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - SEPT. 3
Looking beyond the sorrow
A personal connection to ones we never met

So many numbers, none adding up. Flight 5191. Runway 22 or 26. One wrong turn and 49 people dead. But why?
 Pat Smith gave an interview to Bill Goodman for KET� show One to One two weeks ago.
Eternal Habitat
Tireless volunteer Pat Smith is laid to rest

Along with bread and wine, a hammer and an African scepter were brought to the communion table at Pat Smith's funeral yesterday. Smith, 58, died last Sunday with 48 others when Comair Flight 5191 crashed near Blue Grass Airport. He was returning to Gulfport, Miss., where he was managing a project to build 13 houses for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Sports fan Meaux was full of smiles

Bobby Meaux was remembered yesterday for his laughter, flirtatious nature and passion for sports. Cousin Curtis Dunn, who said a prayer during the funeral service at Harrodsburg Christian Church, said the family is still reeling.
Dawson: Someone you 'need to get to know'

Fenton Dawson was the kind of man who spent an entire day putting together a swingset for his children, Maddie, 9, and Chase, 6. He was the kind of man who played wheelchair basketball with a close friend, then shocked the crowd by standing up.
Combses' love goes back to school days

Homer and Diane Combs were remembered for their individuality at their funeral yesterday -- Homer, the outdoorsman and proud father, Diane the meticulous wife, friend and mom.

DAVID STEPHENSON | STAFF
Michael Gobb, director of Blue Grass Airport, wiped away tears while visiting a memorial at the airport honoring all who died on Comair Flight 5191.
Regional pilots feel intense pressures
SHORT RUNS, SMALL JETS MEAN MORE TAKEOFFS, BUT FOR LOWER SALARIES

For Scott Sickler, an Atlantic Southeast Airlines pilot from Atlanta, long hours and lower pay than he expected have taken their toll.
Tim Snoddy
Tim Snoddy's son: 'We'll party in your honor'

A pair of leather riding boots stood in front of the flowers amassed at Trinity Hill United Methodist Church for Tim Snoddy. Snoddy, 51, died when Comair Flight 5191 crashed outside Blue Grass Airport.
Carole Bizzack
Carole Bizzack: A glorious mountain

It was chilly and gray outside Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, where lines of police cars and a horse-drawn hearse waited at the funeral of Carole Bizzack.
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - SEPT. 4
A September mourning
London begins to say goodbye to lost neighbors

More than 1,000 people gathered here yesterday to pay their final respects to Jonathan and Scarlett Parsley Hooker, who seemed made for each other but who died in the crash of Comair Flight 5191 on Aug. 27, only hours after they were married.
The Rev. T.H. Peoples Jr. of Historic Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church urged children to be sensitive to others.
All over town, focus is on loss of loved ones

Trying to cope with the nation's worst air disaster in five years, many people yesterday turned to God for refuge and strength. The message at many churches throughout Central Kentucky focused on the Aug. 27 crash of Comair Flight 5191 at Blue Grass Airport that killed all but one of the 50 people aboard.
'A little part of him remains behind'

There was a letter marked "Special Delivery" addressed to Clarence Wayne Fortney II -- residence: Heaven. In it, Wayne Fortney promised his fallen son C.W. that "Every morning at 6:07 a.m. ... 'I'll be talking to you.'"
A PAUSE TO REMEBER

MARK CORNELISON | STAFF
Fans in Louisville paused for several seconds of silence on Sunday night to honor the victims of Flight 5191.
Players, fans take a break in honor of crash victims

There was plenty of noise last night at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Bass-thumping hip-hop shook the speakers during warm-ups. Then came the anthem rock followed by a University of Kentucky band rendition of On! On! U of K.
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - SEPT. 5
So close to home
Many at benefit concert knew or almost knew victims

Once Greg Huff heard about the crash of Flight 5191, he wondered how long it would be until he found out someone he knew was on the ill-fated plane.
Judy Ann Rains was owner of K-9 Design Pet Grooming.
Town of 30,000 empty without 5
RICHMOND'S LOSS

Some past-their-prime white mums have faded ungraciously in cloudy water in a dog-treat bucket outside Judy Rains' K-9 Design Pet Grooming. The sign outside the door still reads: "We will be closed for vacation, Aug. 28 � Sept. 6."
The survivor
Polehinke breathing on own now
James Polehinke, first officer on Comair Flight 5191, was taken off life support and is breathing on his own, said Jay Blanton, a University of Kentucky spokesman. He is listed in serious condition at UK Hospital. Polehinke was the only survivor of the Aug. 27 crash at Blue Grass Airport that killed 49. Polehinke suffered a collapsed lung and fractures to his face, spine, pelvis, breastbone, ribs, left leg, right foot and right thumb.
'He loved work more than anyone I know'

It was fitting, friends and family said, that Mike Finley was buried on Labor Day. It seems few have ever gotten so much joy from working so hard in life. Finley, 52, was owner of three Finley's Fun Centers and a variety of other businesses. He was on his way to a national roller-skating convention in Nevada when he died on Comair Flight 5191 on Aug. 27.
A mother and a friend worth emulating

Rebecca Adams was a great cook, but she would never admit it. She was a lover of words, a wizard at crossword puzzles. "That was something she would admit to," joked Christopher Adams, her son.
12/11/2006 09:02 AM EST
An extended family begins it goodbyes

Gregory Alan Threet was remembered yesterday by his family, a group that transcended blood relations. Members of Threet's college fraternity, uniformed Cub Scouts from the troop he led and co-workers gathered -- along with his wife, Anita, and their children -- at Cathedral of Christ the King to mourn the 35-year-old.
BENEFIT CONCERT FOR FAMILIES OF FLIGHT 5191 VICTIMS

DAVID PERRY | STAFF
Georgetown's Shoveltooth was amonth the bands taht performed Monday at a concert at A1A to benefit families of the victims of Comair Flight 5191. STORY
Betty Young
Young loved to entertain, help others

Thomas Butler almost made it. He'd been talking about his mother, Betty Joyce Young, for about 10 minutes without tears. He mentioned the many clubs and civic organizations she was involved in.
Marcie Thomason
Denied a wedding celebration, they celebrate a young life lovingly lived

They weren't supposed to be here now. They were supposed to be here Sept. 30 to witness the wedding of Marcie Reynolds Thomason to Charles Cutchin Powell Jr.
Siblings were to come on vacation, instead attend funeral

Five of Michael Ryan's seven brothers and sisters had planned for months to make the trip from their homes in Ireland to his in Kentucky on Labor Day weekend.
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - SEPT. 6
'An outpouring of love'
COUNCIL HOSTS MOMENT OF SILENCE

The silence was expected to last one minute. Instead, the Urban County Council chambers quieted for more than four minutes. More than 50 people in the room stood as an honor guard of Lexington police officers presented the American and state flags.
FAA reminds flight crews to know runways

WASHINGTON � In the wake of the crash of Comair Flight 5191 in Lexington, the Federal Aviation Administration has issued a safety alert reminding flight crews of the procedures for taxiing and making sure they are on the right runway.
2004 memo warned about staff shortages

Nearly two years before the fatal crash of Comair Flight 5191, a control tower supervisor at the Lexington airport reported staff shortages in the tower that "can cost lives."
Regional airports in slowdown
FEWER FLIGHTS, FLIERS AT BLUE GRASS IN '06

It was already a bad year for Blue Grass Airport. Passenger counts were down. Nearly one-fifth of the airport's daily scheduled flights had vanished.
Protective order granted in Flight 5191 lawsuit

A Fayette judge granted a protective order yesterday barring destruction of evidence in the Comair Flight 5191 crash. In another development yesterday, the Kentucky Bar Association said it is investigating complaints filed against trial lawyers in North Carolina and Texas.
Habitat creates Pat Smith fund

Habitat for Humanity announced yesterday the creation of an endowment fund in memory of volunteer Pat Smith. The fund's goal is to raise $1 million.
Keeneland Chaplain Michael Powers called it a celebration, not a funeral, for Dan Mallory yesterday in the Fasig-Tipton Pavilion. Mallory, the Meadow Haven Farm manager and regular consignor to Fasig-Tipon and Keeneland sales, was aboard Flight 5191.
Service shows respect for horseman Mallory

Dan P. Mallory's memorial service was 25 minutes late starting yesterday because mourners kept arriving and signing the book of condolences -- a sign of the respect in which the Bourbon County horseman was held.
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - SEPT. 7
Priscilla Johnson: 'Bound for glory'
MOURNERS FILL CHURCH TO OVERFLOWING FOR FUNERAL

Priscilla Johnson's life was so full, it took a host of ministers from the area's black churches to do it proper justice. It took a chorus of many and a single, persistent, aching wail from the pew that held her family.
Comair says it has plenty of insurance
Company likely to have more than federally required

Comair has plenty of insurance to cover any legal liabilities related to the plane crash that killed 49 in Lexington on Aug. 27, the company said yesterday.
Pop star Littrell will sing at memorial

Lexington native and pop music superstar Brian Littrell will participate in the citywide memorial service Sunday at Rupp Arena for victims of the crash of Comair Flight 5191.
James Polehinke
Survivor might not remember accident
FAMILY WAS TOLD NOT TO DISCUSS IT WITH HIM

James Polehinke, the sole survivor of Comair Flight 5191, might not realize that he was in a plane crash, a family friend said yesterday.
Morrises remembered amid laughter, tears

Mourners couldn't help laughing through their tears yesterday as friends and colleagues remembered Lexington attorney Leslie W. Morris II and his wife, Kaye Craig Morris, who died in the crash of Comair Flight 5191.
Third crash lawsuit filed

The third Flight 5191 lawsuit was filed against Comair yesterday by the estate of Erik Harris, who was one of the 49 people who died in the Aug. 27 crash near Blue Grass Airport.
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - SEPT. 8
Pilot's mention of 'Toledo' a mystery
Reference before crash unexplained

In addition to departing from the wrong runway and initially getting on the wrong plane, one of the pilots on Comair Flight 5191 to Atlanta might have made a third mistake:
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - SEPT. 9
NTSB says 'Toledo' report was its mistake
THE TRAGEDY OF FLIGHT 5191

A closer examination of an air traffic control tower tape shows that neither pilot on Comair Flight 5191 gave the wrong flight number or mentioned Toledo, a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board said yesterday.
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - SEPT. 10
Taxiway work begins soon
Earlier construction part of crash probe

In the next two to three weeks, Blue Grass Airport will demolish and rebuild part of the taxiway that has been the center of attention since the pilots of Comair Flight 5191 took off from the wrong runway and crashed.
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - SEPT. 11
Comair warns pilots runway signs outdated
BLUE GRASS UNAWARE THAT ALERT ISSUED

Comair has warned its pilots to use extreme caution at Blue Grass Airport because "published airport diagrams do not accurately reflect actual airport signage and markings."
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - SEPT. 13
Pilots had inaccurate runway maps
Revised chart also contains errors

Pilots on Comair Flight 5191 were using an out-of-date diagram for Lexington's Blue Grass Airport on the day the plane crashed. But a revised chart issued to pilots Friday -- nearly two weeks after the crash -- may be even more problematic.
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - SEPT. 14
Airport taxiway work is delayed
Site may be evidence

Blue Grass Airport will delay plans to build a new taxiway connector to give potential plaintiffs' attorneys time to see the runway and taxiways as they were at the time of the crash of Comair Flight 5191.
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - SEPT. 15
Judge orders halt to airport construction
ISSUED TO PRESERVE CRASH EVIDENCE FOR LAWSUITS

A judge granted a temporary restraining order yesterday to prevent Blue Grass Airport from continuing any construction to preserve evidence in the crash of Comair Flight 5191.
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - SEPT. 17
Second autopsies possible
RESULTS SHOWING PAIN, SUFFERING COULD FIGURE IN DAMAGE CLAIMS

In a violent, unexpected and sudden death, loved ones left behind always cling to the idea that the end was providentially quick and painless.
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - SEPT. 18
National staffing now very hot topic
Union, FAA have long been at odds

In the aftermath of the crash of Comair Flight 5191, Lexington has become ground zero in the 25-year-old labor strife engulfing the air traffic controllers union and the Federal Aviation Administration.
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FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - SEPT. 19
Tower chief was criticized in FAA e-mails
DIRECTORS CALLED MANAGER A RENEGADE

The day after the plane crash that killed 49 people, high-ranking officials with the Federal Aviation Administration suggested that the Lexington air traffic manager was a "renegade" and speculated he would be fired for having only one controller on duty at the time.
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FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - SEPT. 20
Comair gives list of passengers
Avoids contempt citation

After a Fayette judge threatened to hold Comair in contempt of court, the airline yesterday provided contact information for relatives of Flight 5191 victims.
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - SEPT. 21
Hearing produces few answers
Chandler grills FAA aide on tower staffing

U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler demanded answers yesterday about inadequate air-traffic controller staffing in Lexington on the day Comair Flight 5191 crashed, but a top federal aviation official said he had none.
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FROM THE HERALD -LEADER - SEPT. 22
Controller averts possible runway mishap
NATIONAL GUARD PLANE THOUGHT IT HAD CLEARANCE
An air-traffic controller at Louisville International Airport stopped a commuter plane from taxiing to a runway that a Kentucky Air National Guard C-130 had entered, a Federal Aviation Administration official said.
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - SEPT. 23
7th suit filed against Comair
Another wrongful-death lawsuit has been filed against Comair and its parent company Delta over the crash of Flight 5191.
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - SEPT. 24
Experts to research, add up 'human factors'
THE TRAGEDY OF FLIGHT 5191
Experts who study airplane accidents say the mistakes that lead to crashes are the same kinds of mistakes people make all the time, akin to locking keys in the car or forgetting an item on a grocery store shopping list.
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - SEPT. 26
Pilots' drug tests are negative
NTSB: Co-pilot used decongestant
The pilot and the co-pilot of deadly Comair Flight 5191 had not been drinking or using illicit drugs, according to federal investigators searching for the cause of the Aug. 27 crash that killed 49 people in Lexington.
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - SEPT. 27
Co-pilot expected to leave hospital next week for rehab
THE TRAGEDY OF FLIGHT 5191
The co-pilot and sole survivor in the Comair crash will undergo surgery today to stabilize a spinal fracture and could leave the hospital next week for rehab, according to his doctor, who said he "wants very much to get better."
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - NOV. 2, 2006
Runway reopens two months after crash
SMALLER PLANES NEED IT, SAYS BLUE GRASS AIRPORT DIRECTOR
Blue Grass Airport's Runway 8-26, mistakenly used by Comair Flight 5191 before the plane crashed into a farm field next to the airport on Aug. 27, reopened yesterday.
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FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - NOV. 4, 2006
Suit targets plane maker
Claim: Fire killed passengers
The victims of Comair Flight 5191 might have survived if the plane had not burst into flames, a lawsuit by the family of one of the victims now claims.
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - NOV. 10, 2006
NTSB won't hold public hearing on crash
ATTORNEYS SAY MOVE IMPLIES FOCUS IS ON PILOT ERROR
Attorneys representing families of crash victims and an independent expert say the NTSB almost always conducts hearings in large, high-profile crashes such as the Comair crash, which killed 49 people on Aug. 27 at Blue Grass Airport.
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - NOV. 14, 2006
Comair says FAA, airport also liable
AIRLINE RESPONDS TO LAWSUITS IN COURT FILINGS
Comair says it's not wholly responsible for the crash of Flight 5191 and says it's not fair for the Northern Kentucky company to be held solely liable when others contributed to the crash.
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FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - NOV. 18, 2006
Some flights being diverted
Landing-guiding equipment on hold
The runway repaving project at Blue Grass Airport is continuing to cause problems for pilots. Thursday night, at least three flights into the airport were diverted to Louisville because, in part, parts of the instrument landing system for Lexington's main runway are still down three months after the massive $36 million project and the Flight 5191 crash.
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - NOV. 20, 2006
Homes for the holiday
Friends of late volunteer bring his idea to life
Pat Smith traveled to Gulfport, Miss., more than half a dozen times this summer to do the prep work necessary to build 13 Habitat for Humanity houses for people displaced last year by Hurricane Katrina.
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - NOV. 22, 2006
Widower of Richmond woman sues Comair
The family of Flight 5191 victim Victoria Washington has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Comair. James T. Washington, the widower of Victoria Washington of Richmond, filed the lawsuit this week in U.S. District Court in Lexington.
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - NOVEMBER 23, 2006
Small plane nearly took off on short runway Nov. 9
FAA SAYS CRAFT WOULD HAVE HAD ENOUGH ROOM IF IT HAD CONTINUED ON RUNWAY 26
A single-engine private plane had to abort its takeoff after it turned onto the wrong runway at Blue Grass Airport earlier this month -- just days after the airport reopened the runway that was involved in the crash of Comair Flight 5191, according to a report filed by an air traffic controller.
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - DEC. 1, 2006
Airport denies fault in crash
Responds to lawsuit against it by Comair
Blue Grass Airport shares no blame in the Comair Flight 5191 crash that killed 49 people, and "the sole proximate cause of the tragic accident ... was the negligent and wrongful conduct of Comair and its flight crew," the airport said in court documents yesterday.
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FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - DEC. 9, 2006
Owner of crash site sues airport
Contends property being undervalued
The owner of the property where Comair Flight 5191 crashed in August has sued the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Airport board in a dispute over the value of that land, which the airport would need in order to relocate and lengthen the runway used in the fatal crash.
FROM THE HERALD-LEADER - DEC. 9, 2006
Airport releases emergency dispatch tapes
RESCUE WORKERS' CONFUSION CLEARLY HEARD
Sirens wail and breathless emergency workers try feverishly to find and help victims of downed Comair Flight 5191 on dramatic emergency dispatch communications released by Blue Grass Airport yesterday.




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