NTSB says flight recorders were successful - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

NTSB says flight recorders were successful, pilots say terrain may have been a factor

Posted: Updated:
BIRMINGHAM - AL -


The best news in the announcement Friday is that the flight recorders- or black boxes- did their job. Investigators now have clear audio and data to work with to try and figure out what happened on Flight 1354 killing two pilots.

"I personally breathed a huge sigh of relief once I learned we had good data," Robert Sumwalt, National Transportation Safety Board said.

It's the most critical piece of figuring what went wrong on Flight 1354... 

NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt told us they are very pleased with the recordings- they were able to capture the entire accident.  

'We will have a lot of data to pull all of this together to help us determine the cause of this accident," he said.

The flight path took them from Rockford, Illinois, to Peoria, then to Louisville and Birmingham. The audio indicates the crew communicated their approach to air traffic controllers. They were cleared to land, 16 seconds before the plane went down- the "sink rate" alert came on. That means if you're going down faster than you're supposed to be, a warning goes off. Then 9 seconds before the crash, investigators say you can hear sounds consistent with the impact. 
Two controllers were on duty at the time of the crash. One of them watched it all unfold...

"He reported he no longer saw the landing lights, followed by a bright orange flash, according to the controller, that was followed by a red glow, and he immediately activated the crash phone," Sumwalt said.

One local pilot told us he believes this crash sounds similar to the Bruno Family plane crash in 1991 in Georgia. The report states the crew was not aware of their location due to mountainous terrain. It - like the UPS crash - states a "ground proximity warning" would have sounded several seconds before impact, allowing pilots time to avoid a crash.

Another local pilot told us today by phone, that Birmingham is a difficult place to land. He explained that the airport sits in somewhat of a bowl - surrounded by hills.

"To the south you have the TV towers, to the North, you have rising terrain and to the East also," a local pilot told us. "So if you're approaching like the aircraft was from the North, descending South, you have the hills South of the runway there, and so that's something you are going to be concerned about." 

NTSB officers are stressing they are still in a data collection phase.  At this point, crews in DC will be going over the tape and writing a transcript of the pilot's voices this weekend. Sumwalt also told us both pilots were very experienced on the airbus 300 and logged thousands of hours in flying time. He says after all the information collected during the past two days, he feels the NTSB is right where it should be. 

  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • Part of new gun bill in Georgia would allow certain school employees to bring guns to school

    Part of new gun bill in Georgia would allow certain school employees to bring guns to school

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:59 AM EDT2014-04-23 12:59:47 GMT
    Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is set to sign legislation that will change the states gun laws.Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is set to sign legislation that will change the states gun laws.
    Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, on Monday, will sign legislation giving more freedom to those residents with licenses to carry weapons. House Bill 60 makes several changes to Georgia’s current law. The bill will allow people with a license to carry the ability to bring their gun into a bar without restrictions. It will allow people to bring their weapons into some government buildings that don’t have particular types of security. It will also give churches and worships centers the right to dec...More >>
    Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, on Monday, will sign legislation giving more freedom to those residents with licenses to carry weapons. House Bill 60 makes several changes to Georgia’s current law. The bill will allow people with a license to carry the ability to bring their gun into a bar without restrictions. It will allow people to bring their weapons into some government buildings that don’t have particular types of security. It will also give churches and worships centers the right to dec...More >>
  • Parents remember daughter who died in ATV accident

    Parents remember daughter who died in ATV accident

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-04-22 23:54:01 GMT
    Gracie Abbott's parents never imagined that an Easter Sunday gathering would end the way it did. They tell me their daughter rode ATVs all time. And when they got the call that she was had been in an accident they were sure it wasn't that serious. But it was serious. "I talked to her. I told her that we were proud of her. I held her," said Sharon Abbott.Abbott says she's almost sure her daughter Gracie was gone at that point. She says Gracie's eyes were already fixated and dilated by the time...More >>
    Gracie Abbott's parents never imagined that an Easter Sunday gathering would end the way it did. They tell me their daughter rode ATVs all time. And when they got the call that she was had been in an accident they were sure it wasn't that serious. But it was serious. "I talked to her. I told her that we were proud of her. I held her," said Sharon Abbott.Abbott says she's almost sure her daughter Gracie was gone at that point. She says Gracie's eyes were already fixated and dilated by the time...More >>
  • Auburn University offering $10,000 reward for tips about campus threats

    Auburn University offering $10,000 reward for tips about campus threats

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 6:16 PM EDT2014-04-22 22:16:00 GMT
    Auburn University and police are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for recent threats made on campus. Auburn University and police are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for recent threats made on campus.
    After two incidents of threats within the past week that have disrupted classes and campus operations, Auburn University is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.More >>
    After two incidents of threats within the past week that have disrupted classes and campus operations, Auburn University is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.More >>
  • Birmingham Area NewsMore>>

  • Major change to Alabama G.I. Dependents’ Scholarship program

    Major change to Alabama G.I. Dependents’ Scholarship program

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:10 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:10:24 GMT
    Dependents who were previously denied education benefits based solely on the veterans' peace-time service dates should reapply.More >>
    Dependents who were previously denied education benefits based solely on the veterans' peace-time service dates should reapply.More >>
  • ABC 33/40 earns 6 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for 2014

    ABC 33/40 earns 6 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for 2014

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 9:28 PM EDT2014-04-23 01:28:29 GMT
    ABC 33/40 (WBMA) won six 2014 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, including one for Overall Excellence. (abc3340.com)ABC 33/40 (WBMA) won six 2014 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, including one for Overall Excellence. (abc3340.com)
    The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) announced Tuesday the winners of the 2014 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, and ABC 33/40 earned six awards, including one for Overall Excellence in Large Market Television.More >>
    The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) announced Tuesday the winners of the 2014 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, and ABC 33/40 earned six awards, including one for Overall Excellence in Large Market Television.More >>
  • UPDATE: Recycling limitations in City of Birmingham

    UPDATE: Recycling limitations in City of Birmingham

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 6:53 PM EDT2014-04-22 22:53:58 GMT
    It will take about two more weeks before full recycling resumes in the City of Birmingham.Since April 2, the city has only picked up paper and cardboard for recyclable material. That's because the Birmingham Recycling and Recovery facility sustained damages in a fire last month, which limited services.A City Spokesperson says people can take their items, including those made of glass, to the Alabama Environmental Council Recycling Center.That facility is located at the corner of 25th Street a...More >>
    It will take about two more weeks before full recycling resumes in the City of Birmingham.Since April 2, the city has only picked up paper and cardboard for recyclable material. That's because the Birmingham Recycling and Recovery facility sustained damages in a fire last month, which limited services.A City Spokesperson says people can take their items, including those made of glass, to the Alabama Environmental Council Recycling Center.That facility is located at the corner of 25th Street a...More >>
  • Anniston - Gadsden Area NewsMore>>

  • Officer-involved shooting in Anniston leaves 53-year-old man dead

    Officer-involved shooting in Anniston leaves 53-year-old man dead

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:24 PM EDT2014-04-22 23:24:15 GMT
    ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) - Calhoun County officials say Anniston police fatally shot a man who was accused of pointing a gun at them. According to County Coroner Shane Adrian, 53-year-old Frank Charles Johnston was pronounced dead after being shot outside his house in the Blue Mountain area Tuesday morning. Adrian says neighbors told investigators that Johnston was standing in the street with a gun and that he pointed the weapon at responding officers. Adrian says Johnston's body is being taken to...More >>
    ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) - Calhoun County officials say Anniston police fatally shot a man who was accused of pointing a gun at them. According to County Coroner Shane Adrian, 53-year-old Frank Charles Johnston was pronounced dead after being shot outside his house in the Blue Mountain area Tuesday morning. Adrian says neighbors told investigators that Johnston was standing in the street with a gun and that he pointed the weapon at responding officers. Adrian says Johnston's body is being taken to...More >>
  • Hunting accident under investigation in Etowah County

    Hunting accident under investigation in Etowah County

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 12:26 PM EDT2014-04-22 16:26:24 GMT
    The Etowah County sheriff's office and Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources are investigating a hunting accident that took place Tuesday morning.More >>
    The Etowah County sheriff's office and Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources are investigating a hunting accident that took place Tuesday morning.
    More >>
  • Roanoke family forced out of home by sewage fumes

    Roanoke family forced out of home by sewage fumes

    Monday, April 21 2014 7:57 PM EDT2014-04-21 23:57:43 GMT
    Fumes from raw sewage in the basement of a Randolph County house sent the homeowner to the hospital Friday.Charles Ester said sludge started to spew into the bottom floor of his house on April 11. There was some sewage repair work up the hill from Ester's home at Handley High School, and tubing ran from a manhole by the school to the manhole by his house. Ester and his wife Evella believe the work there led to the overflow in the pipe under their house.It previously happened in 2007 but this ...More >>
    Fumes from raw sewage in the basement of a Randolph County house sent the homeowner to the hospital Friday.Charles Ester said sludge started to spew into the bottom floor of his house on April 11. There was some sewage repair work up the hill from Ester's home at Handley High School, and tubing ran from a manhole by the school to the manhole by his house. Ester and his wife Evella believe the work there led to the overflow in the pipe under their house.It previously happened in 2007 but this ...More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...