Initial story posted 08/14/13, scroll down for the most recent updates on UPS Flight 1354 crash.
Early this morning, an Airbus A300-600F operated by UPS crashed at Birmington Airport (BHM) killing both the pilot and co-pilot. UPS Flight 1354 was heading from Louisville, KY to BHM when it crashed short of runway 18.
At the time of the accident the weather seemed clear, and the NTSB has stated there were not any distress calls made from the aircraft.
Airbus has stated that the plane in question (MSN841) was delivered to UPS in 2003 and had about 11,000 flight hours (over 6,800 flights) at the time of the crash. They also state that they will, “provide full technical assistance to the French BEA as well as to the authorities who will be responsible for the accident investigation. A team of specialists from Airbus is being dispatched to Alabama.”
In a press release, UPS Airlines President Mitch Nichols stated, “This incident is very unfortunate, and our thoughts and prayers are with those involved. We place the utmost value on the safety of our employees, our customers and the public. We will immediately engage with the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation, and we will work exhaustively on response efforts.”
UPS FLIGHT 1354 PHOTOS AND VIDEO:
UPS A300 CRASH UPDATE 1 – 08/15:
The NTSB held a press conference a bit before 5:30pm EST and gave additional details about the crash.
- The black boxes have not yet been found due to the amount of damage located around their location and smoldering debris.
- The plane struck trees before crashing.
- The NTSB stated that the cockpit ended up about 200yds from the initial impact location and that the center section, containing the wings, was located about 75-85yds closer to the runway.
- Airbus A300 debris is scattered around the airport and even in surrounding homes.
- We do not know at this time if there was any hazardous cargo.
- There was 10 miles of visibility at the time of the accident.
- Names of the pilots have not yet been released.
UPS A300 CRASH UPDATE 2 – 08/16:
The NTSB held another press conference today sharing additional information:
- The two black boxes were recovered. They were were previously difficult to locate due to fire and damage.
- The boxes were quite damaged, but the NTSB is “cautiously optimistic” that they will still provide quality data.
- The recorders are being sent to Washington DC to be inspected and they should know sometime tomorrow if the data is usable.
- Their initial investigation has shown there is no sign of engine failure or fire before impact.
- There is evidence that debris, such as dirt and wood, were ingested into the engines.
- The runway used, 18, is the shorter of the two runways at 7,000 feet long. The longer 6/24 (which is almost 12,000 feet long) was closed at the time of the accident.
- Runway 18 does not have an Instrument Landing System (ILS).