A US commuter jet that crashed in Kentucky on Sunday killing 49 people used a shorter runway that was not allowed for passenger jets, a federal official has said.
Data from the black box of Comair Flight 5191 and damages at the crash scene have shown that the aircraft took off from the shortest runway at the airport, Debbie Hersman, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board said on Sunday.
Only the co-pilot survived the crash, which occurred shortly after the aircraft took off from the Blue Grass Airport in Kentucky.
The strip of the runway used by Flight 5191 was said to be only 3,500 feet when the twin-engine jet would have required a bare minimum of 5,000 feet to fully get off the ground. Investigators are looking at how the pilot got on to this runway from the main runway.
"We will be looking into performance data, we will be looking at the weight of the aircraft, we will be looking at speeds, we will pull all that information off," Hersman said.
The jet bound for Atlanta rammed through a perimeter fence and went down in a field less than a mile from the run of the runway shortly after take off at 6 am (local time) on Sunday.
A police officer who pulled the co-pilot out of the cracked cockpit suffered burn injuries. The lone survivor is said to be still in a critical condition at the University of Kentucky hospital.
The FAA has confirmed that the agency had no indication that terrorism was involved in any way in a plane crash that is worst domestic incident in the last five years.