Comair Crash Sole-Survivor Polehinke Looks Skyward


James Polehinke, first officer, pilot flying and sole survivor of the August 2006 Comair CRJ-100 crash that killed the other 49 aboard at Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport, is “determined to fly again,” according to a report by The Associated Press. The accident took place after the crew of Flight 5191 was cleared for a 6 a.m. pre-sunup departure from the 7,000-foot lit Runway 22, but taxied past it and attempted departure from the 3,500-foot unlit Runway 26. The aircraft hit the airport fence, a berm and trees before crashing 1,000 feet beyond the runway. Polehinke, then 44, was pulled from the wreckage by police officer Bryan Jared and airport officers John Sallee and James Maupin. Polehinke suffered multiple injuries that resulted in loss of his left leg and brain damage — he reportedly has no memory of the crash or the incidents leading up to it. He is on medical leave with Comair and is being sued by relatives of some of the crash victims.