NTSB: UPS pilots had warnings before crash

Federal investigators say flight recorders show that pilots of a UPS plane that crashed in Birmingham received warnings about their rate of descent moments before impact.

Debris burns as a UPS cargo plane lies on a hill at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport after crashing on approach, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, in Birmingham, Ala. Toni Herrera-Bast, a spokeswoman for Birmingham's airport authority, says there are no homes in the immediate area of the crash. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Federal investigators say flight recorders show that pilots of a UPS plane that crashed in Birmingham received warnings about their rate of descent moments before impact.

National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt told reporters Friday that a data recorder captured the first of two audible warnings in the cockpit before impact. Sumwalt says the warnings indicated the A300 cargo plane was descending at a rate outside normal parameters given its altitude.

But Sumwalt says investigators haven't made any determination on the actual cause of the crash.

The aircraft went down less than a mile from the end of a runway at Birmingham's airport before dawn Wednesday. Sumwalt says there were no warnings from the control tower that the plane was coming in too low.

Two pilots died in the crash.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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