Local Pilot Reacts To Kentucky Plane Crash - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/28/06-Longview

Local Pilot Reacts To Kentucky Plane Crash

Brad Wooden is a flight instructor at LeTourneau University's School of Aeronautical Science. For five years, he was a commercial pilot.  Much of that time, he flew the same type of plane that crashed in Kentucky. When he heard it took off from the wrong runway, he was not surprised by the error.

"You get complacent.  Maybe, you've been flying with this pilot for a month already, so you're comfortable with each other. You may have flown into this airport 100 times," says Wooden.

He says during standard taxi and take-off procedures, there are three times the pilot and crew confirm where they will be taking off. 

In this case, they should have used Runway 22 which is 7000 feet long, but instead, somehow, the plane ended up on Runway 26 which is significantly shorter.

Wooden says this posed a problem because of something known as decision speed which is the last second a pilot can abort the take-off and still stop the aircraft.

In the CR-J, that speed is 135 knots which takes 3,000 to 4,000 feet to reach, almost the exact length of Runway 26.

Wooden says in this take-off scenario there are no good options if something goes wrong.

"If you're at a safe flying speed, or close to a safe flying speed, you would try to take it up off the runway," says Wooden.

He agrees with the initial investigation findings that human error is probably to blame. He says the accident is a reminder to him and his students that it's critical to stay diligent every time they get in the cock-pit.

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting: lwilcox@kltv.com

 

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