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16 Years Ago Today: Remembering Comair Flight 5191

FLight 5191 Memorial
Posted at 12:26 PM, Aug 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-27 12:26:35-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — August 27 is a somber day in Lexington and across the Commonwealth every year.

The annual reminder of when Comair Flight 5191 failed to take off from Bluegrass Airport.

In 2006, the pilots accidentally used the wrong runway for take-off, and it was too short to get the aircraft up safely.

The plane clipped a fence and some trees, ultimately crashing in a field.

50 people were on that plane when it went down, 49 of them killed in the crash.

The lone survivor was one of the staff aboard the plane, First Officer James Polehinke.

Over the years LEX 18 has spoken with people in the community connected to this tragedy, whether it be those who lost loved ones in the flight or airmen who worked with the surviving Polehinke.

The crash led to changes at Bluegrass Airport, making sure shorter runways no longer run across longer runways.

A memorial to Comair Flight 5191 stands in the Reflections Garden at The Arboretum on Alumni Drive in Lexington.

It's comprised of 49 stylized silver birds to represent the 49 lives lost 16 years ago today.