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Open Letter to the NTSB Re: Comair5191 investigation

Last post 07-18-2007, 11:58 AM by chickenlittle92071. 0 replies.
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  •  07-18-2007, 11:58 AM 4547

    Open Letter to the NTSB Re: Comair5191 investigation

    July 17, 2007

    Mark V. Rosenker
    Chairman, NTSB
    490 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20594
    Telephone (202) 314-6000

    Chairman Rosenker,

    My name is James Bergquist, former USAF and FAA air traffic controller, and former head of our union, NATCA, in San Diego.

    I have posted several articles on many aviation bulletin boards about the crash of Comair flight 5191 on August 27, 2006. I have also contacted many family members and their attorneys, the Delta safety department, Congressman Ben Chandler's office, and the Lexington press about my allegations about the accident.

    I read a press release on the NTSB website at...


    Under the paragraph titled air traffic control, a lot of false information is listed...

    Air Traffic Control

    At the time of the accident, there was one air traffic controller in the tower. After handling several aircraft at the beginning of his shift, there were several hours without aircraft movements. In the 20 minutes leading up to the accident, there were three departures, including Comair 5191, from LEX under his control. The ATC group has interviewed several Lexington control tower personnel and FAA air traffic personnel. The controller on duty at the time of the accident relayed the following information to investigators: he cleared the accident flight crew to take off (from runway 22) and to fly runway heading (220 degrees); after providing takeoff clearance for flight 5191, he turned away from the window to perform an administrative task (traffic count); he did not witness the accident, but heard the crash, turned around and saw fire, and immediately activated the emergency response. As in all investigations, the group will review the controller's workload and duty schedule and the tower staffing level.

    When I downloaded the FAA ATC tapes, I discovered that the controller wasn't doing traffic count after he cleared the stricken aircraft for takeoff but immediately diverted his attention to a previous departure and was performing approach control duties while Comair was rolling down the wrong runway. Traffic count could not have been a factor in this accident.

    Additionally, there is another item that the NTSB overlooked. You are telling us that the controller "immediately activated the emergency response". But the FAA tapes show something completely different. The FAA tapes show that there was well over a two minute delay after the crash before the controller pulled the crash phone. That is a huge error for the NTSB to make even in the preliminary stages of an accident investigation.

    I cannot understand how the NTSB would think that they can hoodwink the public with this lie on one hand and let the FAA provide the public with the tapes that clearly show that it is all a lie on the other.

    Although I am an aviation professional and not a layman, even the layman can download those tapes and figure out the truth about what happened that morning.

    Here is a link to the articles I posted on the Delta Airlines section of the U S Aviation Bulletin Board...


    and an open letter to Congressman Ben Chandler's office...


    I would like to talk with you further about the NTSB's investigation of this accident. Please respond via email and give me a phone number to contact you.

    Best Regards,

    James Bergquist

    Air Safety Activist

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