NTSB launches crash investigation - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

NTSB launches crash investigation

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For the next few days, the NTSB will be gathering information.

Investigators will be looking for the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder. They'll be looking at everything from the plane's structure to weather conditions.

Several hours after UPS Flight 1354 crashed Wednesday morning, people stood just a few hundred yards from the scene.. to see what they could of the devastation.

"I haven't been home all day. This is my first time coming out. My daughter said to come down and look at the wreckage. So I came up." Deborah Harris says she heard the plane go down. "It was like a big boom and it shook my house, then there's was a second boom."

The National Transportation Safety Board says there's a lot to be done.

Thursday morning, 26 Go Team Members and the FBI's Evidence Response Team will collect data and document wreckage.. to figure out why the cargo plane crashed, killing both pilots on board.

NTSB Board member, Robert Sumwalt, says  "Our goal is to not just find out what happened, but more importantly why it happened to keep it from happening again."

The NTSB could not retrieve the black boxes Wednesday afternoon because the tail was still smoldering.

Sumwalt says, "When we get recorders, we'll be able to know very precisely what that aircraft was doing."

Along with finding those key pieces of evidence.. Investigators will be going back to the initial impact zone to see what's there. They will also be looking at whether the precision path indicator lights near Runway 18 were inoperative.

"We'll be looking at that. We'll be seeing what condition the airport facilities were in. The Navigational aides. We'll be looking at all that."

Other inquiries will include getting a transcript of communication between the pilots and Air Traffic Control.. and they'll see if any surveillance video was recorded at the Birmingham Airport.

We tried to get more information about the runway, but a spokesperson for the Birmingham Airport Authority did not return our call.

The NTSB will be checking maintenance and pilot training records within the next few days.

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