FAA records show past safety problems for UPS plane

FAA records show past safety problems for UPS plane

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UPS Airbus A300-600F with registration number N155UP (Source: UPS) UPS Airbus A300-600F with registration number N155UP (Source: UPS)
A view of the crash scene. A view of the crash scene.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Federal safety records show this is not the first time the UPS cargo plane that crashed in Alabama had problems. Records from the Federal Aviation Administration show the UPS plane built in 2004 has a safety record that is far from spotless.

The FAA requires U.S. Air Carriers to report failures, malfunctions, and defects in what's known as a service difficulty report or SDR. The FAA received more than 70,000 of those reports last year alone on U.S. planes.

Records show 12 different service difficulty reports for the UPS cargo plane that crashed, killing both crew members onboard. According to the FAA's website the problems date back to 2006.

The most recent incident happened in May 2012 when records show the crew had to declare an emergency after the air data computer stopped working.

Emergencies were declared on board this plane two other times as well. Records show in 2009 the crew heard a loud pop and saw smoke in the cargo area. And in 2006 the crew declared an emergency after the flap system failed.

The other incidents weren't as serious and in all cases the cargo plane was repaired and put back into service. There have been no injuries or deaths resulting from the problems onboard this UPS cargo plane until Wednesday's crash.

The general safety record of this type of cargo plane, the A300, is also not spotless. The FAA reports 51 incidents and accidents dating back to the 1980's across all air carriers who fly it. That includes a crash in Mexico in 2010 when the pilot and 5 people on the ground died after an A300 crashed in a rain storm.

To view the aviation query for A300 incidents, click here. To view service report records, click here.

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