Info Correct, But Failed To Provide Taxi Instructions
The ATIS (Automatic Terminal Information Service) recording that
the crew of ill-fated Comair Flight 5191 heard the morning of
August 27 may not have been detailed enough to ensure they taxied
to the correct runway.
According to FAA transcripts received by the Louisville
Courier-Journal, the published NOTAMS the crew had access to
were accurate, but did not explicitly direct pilots how to get to
the correct runway with part of the taxiway closed. The hourly ATIS
that they monitored was evidently even less clear regarding taxi
As Aero-News reported, the crew was using
an outdated chart when they were cleared for Runway 22, and
departed instead from the much shorter Runway 26. The aircraft
crashed on takeoff.
The NOTAM on the day of the crash says: "TWY A CLSD N OF
The pilots would have understood that to mean "Taxiway A closed
north of Runway 8/26." In other words, the part of the taxiway
to get to Runway 22 beyond 26 was closed.
The new NOTAM issued after the crash tells pilots exactly where
to taxi. It reads "LEX TWY A7 CLOSED (UNDER CONSTRUCTION) USE TMPRY
TWY A NRTH OF 8/26 FOR ACCESS TO AER 22." This identifies the
specific part of Taxiway A that is closed and directs pilots to use
a temporary taxiway to get to Runway 22.
It is safe to assume the Blue Grass ATIS is now equally
explicit regarding taxi instructions.
FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said it would be up to the National
Transportation Safety Board to determine whether or not
the NOTAMs and the ATIS provided the pilots with sufficient
information on runways and taxiways, according to the Courier.