Friday, September 03, 2010

UPS Boeing 747-400 freighter crash in Dubai

by B. N. Sullivan

UPS has just confirmed that one of their aircraft has crashed in Dubai. Here is what the company said in a press statement:
At approximately 12 p.m. EST, UPS Flight 6 from Dubai, UAE, to Cologne, DE, a 747-400 with two crewmembers on board crashed on takeoff. At this time, we have not confirmed any casualties.

"Safety is a key priority for UPS," said Airline & International Operations Manager Bob Lekites. "This incident is very unfortunate and we will do everything we can to find the cause," said Lekites. "Our thoughts go out to the crewmembers involved in the incident and their families."

"We will also release more information as it becomes available, in cooperation with government authorities. We will not speculate about the cause. Until then, we ask for your patience in this difficult time."
Unconfirmed reports say that the crew did declare mayday, and that there may have been a cockpit fire.  There are reports of a "huge fire" at the accident site, said to be near the area known as Dubai Silicon Oasis, which is a housing area for Emirates crew members.

The story is developing. I will post more details here on Aircrew Buzz as they become available.

UPDATE:  The Aviation Herald reports that the accident aircraft was N571UP.  The same source reports that both crew members have died.  Still waiting for official word from UPS on crew status.

UPDATE 2:   Sadly, the report that the two crew members perished appears to be true.

Boeing has issued the following statement:  "Boeing extends its deep condolences to the families and friends of the crewmembers lost in the crash of UPS Flt. 6. Boeing will send a team to provide technical support to the investigation upon invitation from the authorities."

Various news media are quoting an official from the United Arab Emirates who says that the bodies of the two crew members have been recovered from the wreckage.

UPDATE 3:  The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) just announced that it "will dispatch an aviation investigator to assist the government of the United Arab Emirates" with the accident investigation.   NTSB says the team "will include NTSB specialists in the areas of human performance, fire, operations, and systems. The team will also include technical advisors from the Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing, UPS, GE and Independent Pilots Association."

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