The Lexington, KY air disaster on 8-26-2006 was so sad that I just can’t stop thinking about it. This is the disaster where the pilot used a much shorter runway…number 26… than the proper, double in length runway…number 22.
I just feel that the runway numbers of “22” and “26” are too similar. I can see very well how they can be confused in a cockpit where you are checking so many things prior to takeoff. In addition to the similarity of the numbers, they were also the same color… white…and also the same size on the runway for the pilots to visualize. The numbers are also both two digit numbers and start with “2” (in the twenties).
It seems to me that when you have two drastically different length runways…7000 ft. and 3500 ft. … that the markings of these runways would be marked drastically different too for the pilots to readily see as they are preparing for takeoff.
What if the runway he was supposed to have used was number 1068 and the small runway was number 26…a four digit number and a two digit number? It seems a human brain would instantly notice an error simply due to four numbers versus two numbers if they had approached the incorrect runway.
What if the longer runway had much bigger numbers than the smaller runway? Again, a human brain just on sight would pick this up, it seems to me, immediately.
What if the four digit number and two digit number were a different color?
I recently read an article that in an emergency situation that a person will grasp more meaning from a sign in a split second situation just from its color more than what it says. This kind of thing is done all the time for people who cannot speak certain languages.
A picture of a commercial aircraft above the runway number might help too. A smaller runway could have a picture of the smaller aircraft above its runway number.
Numbers and pictures along side of the runways in their initial footage could also be there just to confirm the decision as speed is increasing for takeoff.
As I mourn for the deceased and the families of the deceased in this disaster, I can only believe that some of these things, especially if they universal airport markings, could have helped.