It could have happened to any two professional pilots flying a nonprecision approach, in darkness, into weather that turned out to be worse than they expected after a night of back-side-of-the-clock flying. But the NTSB’s September 9 hearing into the Aug. 14, 2013 crash of UPS Flight 1354, an Airbus A300-600, on approach to Birmingham, Ala. (BHM), proved that even crews flying heavy jets can lose situational awareness and get just as far behind on nonprecision approach as King Air crews, especially when a handful of other factors also come into play.
The NTSB will release the probable cause of the UPS Flight 1354 accident at Birmingham, Ala., on Aug. 14, 2013, tomorrow. The captain and first officer were killed and the airplane was destroyed when an Airbus A300-600 crashed short of Runway 18 during a non-precision approach.
Airport authorities in Birmingham, Ala., were in the process of reopening the airport’s longer Runway 24 on August 14, at the time a UPS Airbus A300 crashed while attempting to land on Runway 18. A FedEx jet, in fact, landed on Runway 24 just a few minutes after the UPS accident. The NTSB will hold a hearing on the accident February 20 in Washington.
The pilots of the UPS Airbus A300-600F that crashed on approach to Runway 18 at Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport (KBHM) in Alabama on August 14 received a cockpit warning that they were descending too fast. The “sink rate, sink rate” warning, which was captured on the cockpit voice recorder recovered on August 15, was given 16 seconds before impact. Three seconds later one of the pilots was heard telling the other that the runway was in sight, according to NTSB member Robert Sumwalt.
A UPS Airbus A300-600F en route from Louisville, Kentucky, to Birmingham, Alabama, crashed early Wednesday as it approached Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. The National Transportation Board said that it has launched a so-called go team to the crash site. Approaching Birmingham International’s Runway 18 shortly after 4:50 a.m.
L-3 Aviation Products announced that it has established a presence in India and that AgustaWestland has selected L-3’s Trilogy electronic standby instrument for new production A119 helicopters.
In February, L-3 (Chalet A306, Static E170) had announced plans to add “technical support for its customers, engineering oversight for programs and expanded business development coverage” at the India Air Show in February. “The local presence advances L-3’s long-term business growth in the emerging Indian aerospace sector, as well as the region,” according to L-3.
The FAA is adopting a new Airworthiness Directive (FAA-2011-0518) for Airbus A300/310 airliners to prevent high loading of the vertical stabilizer caused by excessive rudder pedal inputs, which could cause failure of the vertical stabilizer and consequent loss of control. The AD, effective Dec. 14, 2012, applies to A300 B4-600, B4-600R, F4-600R and C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called the A300-600 series), as well as to the A310 series.
Development of the Airbus A350XWB could lag by another month amid questions about problems with a machine in Broughton, UK, used to drill holes in the airplane’s composite wings.
General Electric said yesterday that component efficiency improvements on its CF6-80E1 engine would provide up to a 1-percent improvement in fuel efficiency for Airbus’s planned extended-range A330. The airframer announced plans for the new development with an increased maximum takeoff weight at the Farnborough International airshow on Monday. The U.S. engine manufacturer expects to deliver the enhanced engine for the first 240-metric-ton A330 in 2015.
Increased range and payload for the Airbus A330 twin-aisle twinjet, announced by the European manufacturer here at the Farnborough International airshow yesterday, will be welcomed by Malaysia Airlines (MAS), whose brand-new A380 very large airliner also opened the week’s flying-displays.
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