Coverage of the Jan. 9, 1997 crashFriday, Aug. 28, 1998
Calling it "a failure of the system," the National Transportation Safety Board said officials discussed recommendations for handling icy conditions but failed to inform pilots.
The investigation into the January 1997 fatal crash likely will have broad implications for the commuter airline industry.
The Federal Aviation Administration said it could not respond directly yet to charges that it sat on information that could have helped prevent the January 1997 crash of Comair Flight 3272.
For nearly a year before the fatal crash of Comair Flight 3272, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) sat on information that could have helped prevent the accident, the Air Line Pilots Association charged.
Comair still has 34 Embraer Brasilia 120 aircraft in its fleet, despite filing a lawsuit this week against the manufacturer alleging defects in the airplane that crashed last year.
Friday, Jan. 9, 1998
A YEAR LATER, CRASH UNSOLVED
Reinforcing suspicions that icing caused January's crash of Comair Flight 3272, federal officials Wednesday called for changes in procedures for pilots flying planes in icing conditions.
About 240 family and friends of the 29 victims gathered Sunday at Roselawn Memorial Park, 12 miles southwest of the crash site, to dedicate a memorial to their loved ones.
Comair is moving to install ice detectors on all 39 of its Embraer EMB-120 commuter planes even before the devices are required by the Federal Aviation Administration, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.
Instrument data from Comair Flight 3272 that crashed south of Detroit in January indicates the plane stalled on its descent in a snowstorm and then spun hopelessly out of control.
The National Transportation Safety Board on Wednesday will open its records regarding the January crash of Comair Flight 3272. NTSB spokesman Paul Schlamm the release will not contain a probable cause determination.
Preliminary tests indicate that a little-known icing condition cited in a 1994 plane crash in Indiana might have been present when Comair Flight 3272 crashed Jan. 9 near Detroit, a research meteorologist involved in the testing said Tuesday.
Capt. Dann Carlsen was the type of person many of us would like to be, friends and family said Thursday as they attended his funeral service.
Racing to beat new limits on wrongful death awards in Ohio, lawyers Wednesday filed state and federal suits on behalf of a Procter & Gamble executive killed in the Jan. 9 Comair crash near Detroit.
Even though air-traffic controllers told the crew of Comair Flight 3272 to slow to a speed some considered unsafe for weather conditions, the pilots had the authority to override the order, aviation experts say.
Hundreds of mourners packed churches in two Tristate cities Saturday to remember a Procter & Gamble executive and a flight attendant killed in the crash of Comair Flight 3272.
FAMILIES HELP EACH OTHER
It is becoming common for families of victims from previous plane crashes to offer support when another tragedy occurs.
COMAIR'S RESPONSE PRAISED
Within minutes of Flight 3272's crash, Comair set into motion its emergency response plan, which assigned employees to the hundreds - even thousands - of tasks that would need to be done within the coming hours, days and weeks.
Long before Comair's ill-fated Flight 3272 departed Cincinnati on Jan. 9, federal aviation experts had raised serious concerns over the safety of commuter airlines.
PROBE TURNS TO COLLISION AVOIDANCE SYSTEM
Federal investigators will be checking to see whether Comair Flight 3272's collision avoidance system was operational when a big jet passed over it moments before the turboprop plummeted to the ground, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
Many of the key pieces of Comair Flight 3272 - including the engines - are being prepared to be shipped to their manufacturers for testing. Meanwhile, investigators are looking at whether the twin-engine turboprop was thrown out of control by turbulence from a jet passing overhead.
A week after Comair Flight 3272 crashed, medical examiners have completed identification of all 29 people aboard and have released the remains to their families, while investigators continued to search for a reason for the crash.
Comair Flight 3272 may have been flying so slowly as it approached Detroit Metro Airport that it may have stalled when pilots attempted to turn the commuter aircraft.
Federal investigators moved part of their probe of the crash of Comair Flight 3272 to Northern Kentucky on Monday, launching a systematic review of the airplane's maintenance records.
RIGHT ENGINE MAY HOLD CLUE
UNITED IN GRIEF
More than 1,000 people - including about 200 family and friends of the dead - gathered Sunday afternoon at Immaculate Heart of Mary church and convent in Monroe, Mich., to mourn the dead.
Profiles, photos of the victims of Comair Flight 3272.
About one minute after Comair's Cincinnati to Detroit Flight 3272 leveled off at 4,000 feet, ''an event took place and all operations ceased,'' a federal air safety official said Saturday.
Investigators hope the orange metal flight data recorders found Friday afternoon will unlock the mystery of why Comair Flight 3272 went down.
FAMILIES' GRIEVING BEGINS
In cities like Detroit and small towns like McComb, Miss., families began coping with grief.
LOCAL CREW MOURNED
Until Thursday, the three crew members of Comair Flight 3272 had little more in common than their ties to Northern Kentucky. Now, Dann Carlsen, Kenneth Reece and Darinda Odgen Nilsen are linked forever.
Blessed beyond words. Amazed by the breathtaking ways in which the Lord works. Heartbroken for those who died. The emotions come over Cora Edwards of Brookhaven, Miss., the day after her husband, Eugene, a Baptist minister was to have been on Comair Flight 3272 - but wasn't.
COLD COMPLICATES INVESTIGATION
Pushed by sub-zero winds, drifting snow swept over airplane wreckage and the remains of the dead Friday, blanketing the tragedy of Flight 3272 in white oblivion. ''The weather is certainly complicating the situation," said Monroe County Sheriff Tillman Crutchfield.
DETERMINING WHAT HAPPENED
Thomas Watson says airplane crash investigations - at least in their early stages - are not about learning what brought a plane down. ''They are a process of proving what didn't happen,'' said the retired National Transportation Safety Board investigator.
TRAVELERS ANXIOUS, PHILOSOPHICAL
Fear and apprehension sat alongside some travelers at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport Friday, the day after 29 people died in a Comair plane crash.
HELPING CHILDREN TO FACE FEARS
Children react differently to news of disasters, say child-psychology experts. Parents can play important roles by answering children's questions and validating their feelings.
COMAIR INVESTORS CALM
Investors, for the most part, stood behind Comair on Friday. Stock fell hard early, dropping as much as $4.75, or 19 percent, to $20.25. But it recovered to $23.50 by day's end, down $1.50 from Thursday.
Friday, January 10, 1997
A Comair plane en route from Cincinnati plunged into a snow-covered field as it approached Detroit Metro Airport on Thursday, killing all 29 people aboard.
MAN SKIPPED FLIGHT
Joe Mihelich wanted to get home to his wife and their 19-month-old son. So he ignored his wife's advice to wait for a commuter flight from Cincinnati, rented a car and drove home Thursday in heavy snow to suburban Detroit. As he drove through Toledo, Ohio, Mihelich heard news that the flight he could have boarded had crashed in rural in southeast Michigan, about 15 miles north of where he was. All 29 people aboard are believed dead.
PLANE'S HISTORY TROUBLED
The airplane that crashed Thursday in a Michigan snowstorm had a history of propeller and de-icing equipment problems, service records show.
One passenger was going to attend the funeral of a brother who died in a plane crash, another had spoken to her parents earlier that day, while another was on a routine business trip.
PLANE RAN INTO WORSE WEATHER
As Comair Flight 3272 headed north, it encountered much worse winter weather: freezing temperatures, heavier snow and decreasing visibility. Pilots across Michigan and northern Ohio complained of ice on their wings throughout the afternoon.
COMAIR HAS RESPECTED SAFETY RECORD
This was the Erlanger-based airline's second fatal crash in its 19-year history.The regional carrier, a feeder to Delta Air Lines, has been considered one of the safest in the commercial airline industry.
'IT WAS THE AWFULEST NOISE'
Jenny and Janell Barnes had been home from high school for about a half an hour when the plane went down in a field about 50 to 75 yards behind their house. ''It was the awfulest noise, the whole house shook,'' said Jenny Barnes, 18.
NEWS ARRIVES LATE AT AIRPORT
Passengers watching the news in Comair's terminal early Thursday evening saw reports about JonBenet Ramsey's murder, O.J. Simpson and President Clinton, but nothing about the Comair plane that had crashed hours earlier.
The National Transportation Safety Board dispatched an 11-member team of investigators to the crash site late Thursday.
Grant County, Ky.
Jones, Betty Jean
Comments? Questions? Criticisms? Contact
Greg Noble, online editor.
Entire contents Copyright (c) 1996 by The Cincinnati Enquirer, a Gannett Co. Inc. newspaper.