Data recorder from UPS plane found

2010-09-07 17:18

Dubai – Investigators on Tuesday recovered the digital flight data recorder of a US cargo plane which crashed in Dubai last week killing its two-man crew, the civil aviation authority said.

The flight data recorder of the United Parcel Service 747 cargo plane which crashed in Dubai after takeoff on Friday was found in "seemingly good condition", the United Arab Emirates' civil aviation authority said.

The General Civil Aviation Authority also announced that experts from the US National Transportation Safety Board had arrived in Dubai to join the probe, said the GCAA's statement carried by the official WAM news agency.

On Sunday the aviation authority said it had found the "cockpit voice recorder approximately six hours after the accident".

The cargo plane crashed in a military base on the outskirts of Dubai, minutes after takeoff for Cologne, in Germany. It was carrying mostly children's toys and plastic products.

Investigations have revealed that the cockpit filled up with smoke and the pilots fought desperately to maintain altitude and requested a re-landing in Dubai.

Approach too high

But the aircraft's approach was too high, and it flew over the Dubai airport before quickly shedding altitude and losing radar contact, the GCAA said earlier.

UPS named the dead crew members as Captain Doug Lampe of Louisville, Kentucky, and First Officer Matthew Bell of Sanford, Florida.

There have been no reports of casualties on the ground. Some areas around the military base where the plane crashed were uninhabited, but the death toll could have been much higher if the plane had come down in a nearby residential area.

The aircraft, a Boeing 747-400, was three years old and "was up to date on all maintenance, having just completed a major inspection in June 2010", according to UPS.

The UAE aviation authority has said it is also due to dispatch one of its investigators to the US "to work on data recovery with the American investigation team".