Following the weekend crash of a commuter jet in Kentucky that killed 49 people, the NTSB continues to search for clues to find out why the plane taxied onto the wrong runway, so in light of the tragedy, what are the odds of a similar mistake happening at Walker Field in Grand Junction?
There are many differences between Walker Field and Blue Grass Airport, particularly the runway length.
The doomed flight 5191 tried to take off from a runway just 3,500 ft. long, about 1,500 ft. short of what's needed for the aircraft to get up to speed. The runway it should've taken off from is 7,000 ft. long.
Runway length is not an issue at Walker Field, the main landing strip is more than 10,000 ft. long, while the secondary runway has a length of 5,500 ft.
According to an NTSB spokesperson, flight 5191 acknowledged an order to use the longer runway but still continued on the shorter one. It's still unknown whether the crash was the result of both pilot and tower error, but pilots at Walker Field say the system of both ground and tower controls make this mistake at the Grand Valley airport a very unlikely occurrence.