NTSB: UPS Pilots Had Warnings Moments Before Crash

Aug 16, 2013

Senior Investigator Joe Sedor (left) shows Member Robert Sumwalt (right) the depth of the debris field of UPS fight 1354.
Credit Nation Transportation Safety Board / twitter.com

Federal investigators say flight recorders show that pilots of a UPS plane that crashed in Birmingham received warnings about their rate of descent moments before impact.

National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt told reporters Friday a data recorder captured the first of two audible warnings in the cockpit before impact. Sumwalt says the warnings indicated the A300 cargo plane was descending at a rate outside normal parameters given its altitude.

But Sumwalt says investigators haven't made any determination on the actual cause of the crash.

The aircraft went down less than a mile from the end of a runway at Birmingham's airport before dawn Wednesday. Sumwalt says there were no warnings from the control tower that the plane was coming in too low.

Two pilots died in the crash.