GeoCarta Has Moved

Jan 28, 2007

Inaccurate Maps One of "Small Gaps" That Led to Crash

Inaccurate maps were among the "small gaps" that doomed Comair Flight 5191 when it crashed August 27, in Lexington, Kentucky, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported today.

After reviewing the 650 pages of information National Transportation Safety Board investigators have gathered thus far in their investigation into the cause of the crash, the Enquirer cites two main factors in the crash; pilot error and maps which failed to show which runways were under construction, and which were open.
The vendor supplying Comair with airport maps didn't know about the construction in Lexington. Comair pilots had maps that still showed the pre-construction.

Map company Jeppesen Sanderson said a computer error caused it to not receive the notice of construction, which in turn prevented it from providing up-to-date information. Jeppesen flight safety manager "Rich Fosnot stated that Jeppesen staff had 'no idea there was ongoing construction' at LEX at the time of the accident," investigators said. "Jeppesen discovered that a software error was responsible for the data not being reported out."

The crash has already prompted the Federal Aviation Administration to ask airports to begin providing diagrams of ongoing construction projects instead of just text descriptions.

While applauding the new procedure, Terry McVenes, chairman of the Air Line Pilots Association said all airline cockpits should be equipped with a moving map display similar to global positions systems available in automobiles."The technology is already there" he said, "newer airplanes already come equipped."

See also: Airports' Digital Maps Get Failing Grade.

Labels: ,