NTSB brings 26-member team to Birmingham to collect "perishable" - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

NTSB brings 26-member team to Birmingham to collect "perishable" evidence and information on crash

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BIRMINGHAM, AL -

A 26-member "go team" has arrived in Birmingham to collect what they call "perishable" information and evidence from this morning's UPS cargo plane crash. 

According to NTSB Board Member Robert Sumwalt, the A300-600F plane, Flight 1354, was en route from Louisville, Ky., to Birmingham when it crashed on approach to Runway 18 at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.

"It appears the plane went through some trees and impacted toward bottom of the hill, where there's evidence of fire. Then, it went up the hill where it came to the top of the hill and reached its final resting point," Sumwalt explained.

Sumwalt said the plane broke into two pieces -- Sumwalt said the fuselage, which contains the cockpit area, was about 200 yards from the initial ground impact point. Another 75 or 80 yards closer to the runway was the part of the fuselage that contained the wings and the tail section.

The part of the aircraft with the wings and tail section sustained fire damage, and is currently still smoldering, preventing them from getting the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder from the wreckage. Sumwalt said he's optimistic that they'll be able to recover those "black boxes."

An investigator from Atlanta was on the scene in Birmingham by 9:30 a.m., while the rest of the go team arrived around 11 a.m. Dr. Dan Bauer is leading the investigation team, which will look at every aspect of factors that could have impacted the crash. 

Data collection will continue tomorrow, Sumwalt said.

"We do want to emphasize that we're just at the very beginning stages of our investigations. there's a lot of work to be done and that work will begin in earnest tomorrow morning," Sumwalt said. "Our goal is to find out not just what happened, but why it happened so we can keep it from happening again."

Anyone with debris in their yard is urged not to touch it, but  to email witness@ntsb.gov.

 

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