Colorado

Jul 13, 2010 2:05 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

NTSB: Pilot had 4 seconds to prevent Denver accident

A federal safety panel says an airliner ran off a runway in Denver because the flight's captain failed to use the plane's rudder to correct its direction during a strong crosswind.

The National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday that the captain stopped using the right rudder about four seconds before a 52 mph gust hit the Continental Airlines Boeing 737's tail, causing it to "weathervane" - turn its nose into the wind.

Contributing to the December 2008 accident was the a failure by the air traffic control system to provide the pilots with key information, and the airline industry's failure to incorporate high wind gusts into pilot training for takeoff in crosswind conditions.

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