The National Transportation Safety Board held their final Birmingham press conference on Saturday afternoon on the UPS cargo plane crash that claimed the lives of the two pilots. While investigators have gone through much of the data, a definitive reason for the crash has still not been determined
Lead Investigator Robert Sumwalt took the podium around 4 p.m. and gave the following updates:
- The recorded flight control inputs and aircraft control surface positions appear to correlate properly.
- The engine parameters indicate that the engine was working properly.
- The autopilot was engaged until the last second of recorded data.
- The cockpit recorder continued for a few seconds after the flight data stopped.
- The auto throttle system was engaged until the last second of recorded data.
- Flight data confirms the enunciation of the sink alert heard on the voice recorder.
- The airspeed tracking on the auto flight selected airspeed was 140 knots. This is consistent with the expected approach speed.
- Investigators have obtained surveillance video from the airport and the National Guard. Both videos appear to show the fire after the crash. Investigators will go through the video frame-by-frame.
- A 72 hour history of the crew will be gathered by NTSB investigators. People who had contact with the crew were interviewed Saturday morning from midnight and 2:30 a.m.
- NTSB has discovered the crew obtained keys to sleep rooms in Louisville and will investigate whether the rooms were used.
- The maintenance crew in Louisville is going over their logs. So far, no issues have been found with the plane.
- Investigators have retrieved some electronic equipment that may have data.
- The NTSB believes they have retrieved all aircraft components from non-airport property. If someone has a piece of the plane on their property, they need to email email@example.com.
Sumwalt says subsequent info will be released from Washington D.C. He adds that this does not mean the investigation is over.
"This will be a months-long investigation," said Sumwalt.
Many investigators will remain in Birmingham while some follow other leads. Sumwalt says crews will look into how UPS planes approach Runway 18 at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport by recreating the flight in the same type of aircraft. They will also investigate UPS training procedures in relation to pilots.
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