Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Tech Log
Reload this Page >

UPS cargo crash near Birmingham AL

Tech Log The very best in practical technical discussion on the web

UPS cargo crash near Birmingham AL

Old 14th Aug 2013, 16:17
  #41 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Florida
Posts: 93
From some of the photos that have come out, it looks like they impacted the front side of a hill, impacted the next hill, and ended up on the other side. The impacts could account for some of the reports from neighbors.

Looking for a silver lining, I hope this brings to light how the DOT allowed cargo airline managements to get a carve-out/exemption from the new FAR 117 rest and duty rules coming in January. Pilots are pilots and we all need to be rested to do out jobs safely.
AKAAB is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2013, 16:17
  #42 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 200
Local news says witnesses said engines sounded like they were sputtering or cutting out.
I didn't know the A300 had piston engines.

If the reports are accurate, maybe it was the ignitors firing after a bird strike?

* waits for the official report *
ECAM_Actions is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2013, 16:17
  #43 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Ireland
Posts: 595
It is just a guess and out of line.
Why is it out of line?

Until the final report is out we are all guessing as to the cause, and flarepilot's 'guess' is no better or no worse than anyone else's I've seen so far.
Speed of Sound is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2013, 16:27
  #44 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Mosquitoville
Posts: 99
I didn't know the A300 had piston engines.
Not my choice of words, but I can see how surges can be described as such.
Sorry Dog is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2013, 16:46
  #45 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Is this a FATAC or did the crew get away with it (or are the details still being withheld?)

Hoping for the best, looks as if it was survivable, keeping fingers crossed that it was.
VinRouge is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2013, 16:49
  #46 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Right Here
Age: 72
Posts: 77
Keep in mind that this model Airbus has had several inflight rudder problems. ie AA crash after takeoff from JFK. If I remember correctly, there was also a Canadian Charter operator that lost a good portion of the tail while out on the AR's. The talk about a debris field prior to the impact site might be explained with this in mind.

As with everyone else.....waiting to see what the NTSB has to say.
NG ExPat is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2013, 16:59
  #47 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Zone of Alienation
Age: 75
Posts: 8
It could also mean they impacted trees, engines surged as they failed, dropping internal/external parts along the remainder of the flight path.

Anything is possible, but there is a photo floating around that shows the left-main gear strut intact, approximately perpendicular to the fuselage with the wheel bogies inboard. IOW, the gear *may* have been in the retract position.

This could indicate a go-around was being attempted but not possible with compromised engines. It could also mean it simply came to rest that way as those struts are well built.

Purely an observation based on the photo.

Last edited by FIRESYSOK; 14th Aug 2013 at 17:07.
FIRESYSOK is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2013, 17:17
  #48 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Hotel Gypsy
Posts: 2,831
They could have done an Asiana.

Perhaps we should all stop for a breath or two?
Cows getting bigger is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2013, 17:17
  #49 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Often in Jersey, but mainly in the past.
Age: 75
Posts: 5,972
So the data you have is . landed waaaay short of the RW and both crew are dead.

Has nobody considered cargo shift, terrorism, double engine failure, enthnic minority pilots or any other random suggestions?

I know it's a "Rumour Network", but apart from a few posts that contribute something there's nothing to see here. Just 2 people who were doing their job, and who are now dead.

How about waiting until there's anything to discuss? Like some facts?
MPN11 is online now  
Old 14th Aug 2013, 17:23
  #50 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Vendee
Posts: 138
Being en vile by chance at the moment I would second the question of landing south. I am not questioning the crews decision at this time as something else must have factored in as the taxi to the cargo ramp would be just as long had they just landed on the long runway to the northeast-east.

Perhaps the long runway was closed at that time. That is why we stand at parade rest and wait for trained and competent investigators to do their work.

There were thunderstorms last evening but no squall lines or lasting foulness. Rain on and off since then.

I had reason to be on the north side of the aerodrome this morning and it was populated by the usual bevy of news trucks. I had no desire to see the site. We lost fellow aviators this morning and apart from some road closures, gawking would be inappropriate.

Compared to some of the world's airports BHM is certainly not high terrain, but it is hilly just north of the airport and terrain is terrain if it were in the dark and on a NPA. It is most definitely, as had been stated, not a flat terrain approach whilst landing to the south.

Last edited by Uncle Fred; 14th Aug 2013 at 17:28.
Uncle Fred is online now  
Old 14th Aug 2013, 17:30
  #51 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 12,159
How about waiting until there's anything to discuss? Like some facts?
NTSB on-scene press briefing today 4pm CDT.
DaveReidUK is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2013, 17:30
  #52 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Florida
Posts: 93
I read elsewhere that 24 was NOTAM'd out of service until 0500. Looking at current NOTAMS, it appears there is construction ongoing on 24, with ALS, PAPI, and ILS inop until October.
AKAAB is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2013, 17:42
  #53 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Rennes
Posts: 175
Debris apparently result of impact with trees

Moments before Flight 1354 crashed into a hillside less than a quarter mile away, it clipped two trees in Cornelius and Barbara Benson's yard. Splinters of pine tree tops and scraps of aluminum scattered across the yard.

The Benson's home at the intersection of Tarrant Huffman Road and Treadwell Road is the last house a plane passes over before it reaches the airport....

On Wednesday morning, a piece of the UPS cargo plane about the size of a dinner plate sat leaning against a patio chair on the back porch.

Barbara Benson said the sound of the crash woke her from a dead sleep. She saw a bright red flash through the windows

"I thought at first it was the End Time," she said.

About 50 feet past the Bensons' home, the Airbus 300 struck power lines on Treadwell Road and knocked out power for several blocks....

Judging from the broken treetops in the Bensons' yard, the plane had flown 20 feet or less above their home, which sits across the street from where the airport's property starts.

If Google Maps is correct, that puts the point of first impact just a smidge more than a mile from the RWY 18 threshold, right on the extended centre-line.
Blind Squirrel is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2013, 17:49
  #54 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Mosquitoville
Posts: 99
I actually just went and looked at the accident...or at least as close as you can get without interfering.

They did clipped the tops out of several trees on the approach, and then flew over a house missing it by 40 feet or so.

The hill you see is another 100 yards beyond the house, but it rises up 50 feet up from the road and the house.

It looks like he was 20 feet low to clear the hill. You can see black impact area in the hill and most of the back half of the plane is either gone or rolled over to the over side. I suspect it was nose high, so the front broke off to where you see it now.
Sorry Dog is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2013, 17:50
  #55 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Ireland
Posts: 595
I read elsewhere that 24 was NOTAM'd out of service until 0500. Looking at current NOTAMS, it appears there is construction ongoing on 24, with ALS, PAPI, and ILS inop until October.
The CNN interview with the woman who said it sounded 'lower than usual at that time of day' suggests that this flight has been using RWY 18 for a while.

Does anyone know how long RWY 24 has been OTS?
Speed of Sound is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2013, 18:07
  #56 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Florida
Posts: 93
NOTAMS as of 1900z today. Looks like Rwy24 was under construction.

!BHM 08/035 (KBHM A0367/13) BHM RWY 18/36 CLSD


!BHM 08/023 (KBHM A0347/13) BHM RWY 24 TORA 10060/LDA 10060/TODA 10060 WEF 1308050129

!BHM 08/022 (KBHM A0345/13) BHM RWY 6/24 NOW 10060X150

!BHM 08/021 (KBHM A0344/13) BHM RWY 6/24 NONSTD MARKING



!BHM 08/016 (KBHM A0337/13) BHM RWY 24 THR DSPLCD 1938

!BHM 08/008 (KBHM A0326/13) BHM NAV ILS RWY 24 DME OTS WEF 1308031700

!BHM 08/004 BHM OBST TOWER 877 (270 AGL) 12.1 SE LGTS OTS (ASR 1217702) WEF 1308011004-1308161004

!BHM 07/054 (KBHM A0316/13) BHM RWY 24 PAPI OTS WEF 1308022100-1310042100

!BHM 07/053 (KBHM A0315/13) BHM NAV ILS RWY 24 GP OTS WEF 1308022100-1310042100

!BHM 07/052 (KBHM A0314/13) BHM RWY 24 ALS OTS WEF 1308022100-1310042100
AKAAB is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2013, 18:21
  #57 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: surfing, watching for sharks
Posts: 3,668
Did those NOTAMS happen because of the crash or were the posted prior?
West Coast is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2013, 18:38
  #58 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: england
Posts: 385
Sky news report has a witness saying it was on fire before impact? li battery's again??....

Last edited by Kengineer-130; 14th Aug 2013 at 18:40.
Kengineer-130 is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2013, 18:40
  #59 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: chicago
Posts: 359

an earlier post of mine offered a GUESS as to what happened. it has been called inane among other things.

a cloud deck at 700' agl on a localizer dme approach that gets you to 600' is a bit suspicious

I've had a sudden spurt of rain/drizzle ruin my forward visibility and I always have my copilot standing by to turn on wipers.

any quick check shows the vasi /papi lights are set at 3.2 degrees making a slightly steeper approach....why? terrain.

a night non precision approach with low clouds makes one prone to visual miscues. hitting trees means the plane was low.

I do offer a question of barometric altimeter setting and its possible leading to a low actual altitude.

I would like to think we are all pilots here and that these are reasonable views ,possibilities if you will, about a tragic crash.

anyone recall the american airlines md80 that hit trees making an approach to windsor locks? (hartford ct). altimetry was a problem there.

I ,for one, welcome the ideas postulated here and now...a year from now when the ntsb report comes out, we will have forgotten this one.

wondering what the altitmeter setting was , what was given from approach control/atis, what we will find on the altimeters in the cockpit and how much off they might, SAY AGAIN MIGHT, have been.

now, it might not be altimetry, it might be something else...but shall we open our eyes and not just drop our heads?
flarepilot is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2013, 18:51
  #60 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: under the sea
Posts: 2,471
The flight data from the Flight Aware website shows the aircraft a few minutes before the crash below platform height( 1500 ft )and fast .The speeds listed are groud speeds and at 191kt ground speed you would be aiming to be in config 15/20( limit speed is 205kt), probably with the gear down. There may have been a tailwind on the approach based on the surface conditions.
The data before this shows a very high rate of descent and speed which to me suggests that the crew were trying to get the height off to go straight-in on 18., To achieve 5000ft/min + at around 250kt indicated requires the use of full speedbrake in the A306..Perhaps they had planned for 24 and had forgotten that it was notamed closed until handover to Birmingham approach
The workload would have been high with the reduction of track miles and the requirement to retune the aids and rebrief for a steep NPA onto a shorter runway and fly an approach that did not fit the mental model they had created when the flight comenced. The LOC/DME does not indicate Zero at the threshold but it is displays 1.3nm according to the chart.
The Jepp chart for the Loc18 approach does not have a cross reference to DME/ALT box as a LOC/DME approach would have. The A306 will not display the LOC DME on the PFD unless the approach is in the database and has been selected.
There are no approach lights on 18 and the runway lights are listed as medium intensity. Did the road north of the airfield look like the runway?
Others have already mentioned on here that this is classified as a special airfield for their operations.
We do not know how many days or sectors they had flown recently but the pressure to land after another long night, plus having to fly at the lowest point of their circadian rhythm must surely have played a part.

Last edited by tubby linton; 14th Aug 2013 at 19:41. Reason: Speeling
tubby linton is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.