In the LEX ATCT air traffic accident package at
we see the FAA's transcripts of the ATC tapes. Both the tower tapes and the crash crew notifications are located at the bottom of this pdf document.
You can see that Comair was cleared for takeoff at 1005:17
Comair acknowledged the clearance at 1005:21
Eagle Flight 882 (EGF882), the previous departure, acknowledged a frequency change to center (ZID LEX) at 1005:40
That is the time that Comair was at the departure end of the wrong runway (RW26) and it was too late to intervene to save any body's lives.
CD said he turned to do the traffic count and heard the crash and notified the Fire Dept. about the crash, but the transcript shows he pulled the hook at 1007:27, that is 10 seconds short of two minutes after the crash.
He wasn't watching Comair when he was taking off on the wrong runway because he was talking to EGF882. ZID LEX should have been talking to EGF882 instead of CD as ARTCC was designated to take over approach control duties when LEX ATCT was manned with only one controller.
Previously, we have been told that CD, the controller on duty during the accident, originally stated that he saw Comair heading for RW22 after he cleared him for takeoff, then turned his back. We have also been told that he changed his testimony some 30 minutes later to say he never saw Comair. The statements on this document say something completely different.
In this personnel statement (FAA Form 8020-26), CD states “I cleared him for takeoff around 1006Z and watched him take RW22” He is saying he saw Comair on the active runway and far away from the approach end of RW26 which he departed from.
His supplemental statement, dated the same day, he says “After the review of my original personnel statement, I did not watch Com191 take RY22. I saw Com191’s position on twy A, heading for RWY22. I then cleared Com191 for takeoff. I saw Com191’s lights turning towards RWY22. I turned around to do the traffic count, heard a crash, and saw a fireball west of the airport.”
When he says he saw Com191 turning towards RW22, he hadn't crossed RW26 and never did cross that runway.
These two statements are dated the same day, but have no time for the statements. We don’t have a clue how long it took CD to change his mind. Originally, I thought he made these statements to investigators, but I have had to make these statements myself after an incident and can tell you that you are left alone and given all the time you want to make your statement.
In this package, CD signed a third supplemental personnel statement on 9-6-06, some 10 days later, stating, “this information corrects information in the header of my previous statement” But he doesn’t tell us WHICH statement he is correcting.
So CD lied in his original statement about seeing the stricken aircraft on the active runway. Then he changed his statement, but still lied about turning to do the traffic count, because he was dealing with EGF882 when he told us he turned to do the traffic count. He doesn't mention that he waited just short of two minutes before he pulled the crash phone.
This information will be forwarded to Congressman Ben Chandler, Delta safety dept., the family members of Comair191, and to the Lexington press.