Home / National News / NTSB Investigators Describe Final Moments Before UPS Plane Crash


(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) — The National Transportation Safety Board says it’s making progress in its investigation of this week’s deadly crash of a UPS plane in Birmingham, Ala.
NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt says the black boxes pulled from the charred fuselage have yielded helpful information.  Sumwalt says the voice recorder clearly picks up the sound of an alarm, seconds before the crash, warning the crew that they were sinking too fast.
Then, one of the two crew members is heard saying to the other that the runway was in sight.  But four seconds later, the crash killed them both.

There were no other individuals on board the plane, which erupted into flames as it crashed and its fuel caught fire near the plane’s tail, according to Birmingham Mayor William Bell. Bell was briefed about the details surrounding the crash by National Transportation Security Board investigators Wednesday afternoon.

“We were told that there was no distress signal emitted from the airplane itself, and there were no calls for the airport or the control tower to assume that they were in any trouble. At this point and time that’s the information that we have,” Bell said.

The plane had taken off from Louisville and was on final approach to Birmingham when it went down, according to authorities.

Bell said there were UPS packages and some U.S. mail on board the flight when it went down.

The plane, an Airbus A300, was manufactured in 2004 and is one of the most widely-flown aircraft in the world.

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