Reporter's Horrific Observation: Flight 5191

A small group of reporters were allowed access to the Flight 5191 crash scene Tuesday. 14 News brings you an Associated Press reporter's notes about the site...slightly edited for continuity only.

Reporters were allowed access to the crash site via an access road off Versailles Road. The site was about a mile past the airport entrance.

Trees lined the narrow pathway on both sides. Once up the hill, fresh gravel and rocks had been poured on the path leading to the crash site.

At least 50 vehicles, many public safety vehicles, fire trucks, police cars, as well as numerous personal cars, were on the site.

On the hill, there were two black barns and a white house next to the barns. There were several tents and covered areas set up as well as a couple of Salvation Army mobile units serving food and drinks to the people working there.

At the site where the plane stopped: Visible was high-grass and weeds, some as high as six-feet tall, across much of the area. Some of the grass was charred by the plane and fire.

The cockpit was nearly touching the line of trees.

Investigators said they had turned the cockpit on its side, with the top hatch facing-up. A crane-like machine was hooked to the top hatch.

Cockpit windows: One of the windows was virtually black, one was clear and intact and another was missing.

Yellow police tape sectioned off the entire scene.

Looking down and back at the cockpit, nothing inside the cockpit was distinguishable. Wires and wreckage were all that were visible.

Several yards away, near the tree line on the left, parts of the engine were found, completely charred. Part of the wing was in the grass on the right.

About 50 yards further down, there was a large piece of the plane's tail, smashed into a downed tree.

There was a large plastic sheet on the ground outside the yellow tape. NTSB spokesman Terry Williams said the cover was over personal items.

The area smelled like jet fuel.

One of the trees that appeared to have been brushed by the plane, had large orange letters on it, saying "RXP." NTSB said they weren't sure who put the markings on the tree.

Going up the hill towards the airport. From the top of the hill, looking toward airport, a large orange "X" was on a barrier fence. NTSB said it was a marker showing where the plane took off from.

There was damage on the top of the barrier fence. NTSB said the fence was brushed by the aircraft as it came down. From that fence, until tree area is an open area with a metal wire fence around it, there's no damage to fence.

Orange flags, put down by NTSB to mark pieces of the plane were visible inside the fence.

Just outside the fence, a small part of the tail was visible. At the top of the hill, looking down one side, is the plane remnants. Down the other side is the marked fence.

Beyond the metal wire fence, a wheel from the landing gear was visible on the ground, between the wreckage and the fence.

The reporter spent about an hour touring the scene.

None of the cabin area was visible. The NTSB said it moved the cabin area.

Additionally, workers at Lexington's Blue Grass Airport have put up large 'X' warning signs at both ends of runway 26, to let pilots know the runway is closed.

Airport spokesman Brian Ellestad says the signs were put up Tuesday morning, as a precaution.

The runway has been closed since Sunday, when Comair Flight 5191 crashed just past the end of the runway shortly after takeoff.

Only the pilot survived the crash that killed 49 people.

Ellestad said he didn't know how long the runway would be closed. Governor Ernie Fletcher said Monday, he'd like to see the runway permanently shutdown.

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