13 INVESTIGATES: Plane flight stats - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

13 INVESTIGATES: Plane flight stats

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BIRMINGHAM, AL -

Landing before sunrise at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport was not a first for the plane which crashed yesterday.

UPS 671, the aircraft in question, has landed here twice since May -- including last Wednesday, almost a week to the minute before yesterday's crash. The same plane landed safely in Birmingham at 4:50 a.m.

Back on May 8, also a Wednesday, the same plane touched down at 4:44 a.m.

We studied the plane's recent flight history and found it has made 244 safe landings just over the last four months.

Those flights covered more 178,000 miles through the air to destinations all over North America, the Caribbean and Mexico.

The plane was carrying cargo for UPS and the United States Postal Service.

UPS has not told us how much of its mail is intact and when intended recipients should expect to receive any salvageable parcels.

The Postal Service says they had about 1,500 pounds of mail onboard, much of which is undamaged. They believe it could be another day before that mail is is shipped out.

The NTSB says their Birmingham investigation should last about another week. After that, what's left of the jumbo jet is surrendered to UPS. 

"One of the things that we will do is determine the weight and the balancing of the airplane so we will look to make sure that it was within its weight limitations and it was properly balanced and that is a calculation that is performed before every takeoff," said NTSB Member Robert Sumwalt.

He said it is hard to predict exactly how long it will take them to determine a cause of Wednesday's crash, but their investigations typically take 12 to 18 months.

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