The pilots of a US Airways flight that careered off the runway during take-off were discussing their Corvette sports cars moments before the incident, it has emerged.
US Airways Express Flight 2495 aborted its take-off and crashed after the pilots forgot to set the flaps in the proper position. Only a recently installed gravel trap-style surface at Charleston airport in the US halted the plane and prevented it from careering further off the runway.
Transcripts from the Bombardier CRJ200's recorder have been released and reveal that the pilots were discussing sports cars and track days - personal conversations that are strictly forbidden during takeoff and landing procedures.
The conversation detailed the pilots boasting about their 6.2-litre Corvette muscle cars while going through pre-flight check, with one boasting that he'd clocked 135mph in his.
About 120 seconds before the crash, the pilots were debating the merits of owning a coupe over a convertible to go on track days, saying:
"Plus she- and then have a uh...she wants a coupe cause she can't take
her- there's a road course at the Corvette museum in Bowling Green,
Kentucky, but you can't take the ragtops out there."
"It's got to be a coupe. Which I mean if the ragtop's got a rollbar- a roll
cage in it I don't see what it matters."
"And she said well- I'd put one in and take it out there."
"Just need to get hers paid off."
"Before take-off checklist."
"And ladies and gentlemen once again welcome on board flight twenty four
ninety five service to Charlotte. This time we're number one for departure
should only be about another oh two or three minutes. I'd like to ask Gayle
to please have a seat."
None of the plane's 31 passengers were injured in the incident, but it's not yet clear if any disciplinary measures will be taken against the pilots.