KY Disaster Averted: Wrong Runway - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

KY Disaster Averted: Wrong Runway

New Media Producer: Kerry Corum

A private single-engine plane tried to take off from the wrong runway at the Lexington airport two weeks ago, less than three months after a similar error led to the worst US aviation crash in five years.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the 1976 Piper Saratoga accidentally turned onto a secondary runway, as it prepared for a midnight flight November 9th.

The plane was supposed to take off from the main strip.

One of two air traffic controllers on duty alerted the pilot to the mistake, and the plane safely took off the correct runway.

The secondary runway was reopened earlier this month, for daytime use only by small aircraft.

It was shut down immediately after Comair Flight 51-91 crashed in the pre-dawn darkness on August 27th, killing 49 of the 50 people on board.

The jet crashed after the pilots took off from the 3500 foot runway 26, instead of the 7000 foot runway 22.

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