Tag Archives: 841

The NTSB blames the crew for the crash of UPS flight 1354 at Birmingham, Alabama

UPS A300-600F N155UP Crash Birmingham (NTSB)(LRW)

The National Transportation Safety Board determined that UPS flight 1354 crashed because the crew continued an unstabilized approach into Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Birmingham, Alabama. In addition, the crew failed to monitor the altitude and inadvertently descended below the minimum descent altitude when the runway was not yet in sight.

The board also found that the flight crew’s failure to properly configure the on-board flight management computer, the first officer’s failure to make required call-outs, the captain’s decision to change the approach strategy without communicating his change to the first officer, and flight crew fatigue all contributed to the accident.

The airplane, an Airbus A300-600, crashed in a field short of runway 18 in Birmingham on August 14, 2013, at 4:47 a.m. The captain and first officer, the only people aboard, both lost their lives, and the airplane was destroyed by the impact and a post-crash fire. The flight originated from UPS’s hub in Louisville, Kentucky.

“An unstabilized approach is a less safe approach,” said NTSB Acting Chairman Christopher A. Hart. “When an approach is unstable, there is no shame in playing it safe by going around and trying again.”

The NTSB determined that because the first officer did not properly program the flight management computer, the autopilot was not able to capture and fly the desired flight path onto runway 18. When the flight path was not captured, the captain, without informing the first officer, changed the autopilot mode and descended at a rate that violated UPS’s stabilized approach criteria once the airplane descended below 1,000 feet above the airport elevation.

As a result of this accident investigation, the NTSB made recommendations to the FAA, UPS, the Independent Pilots Association and Airbus. The recommendations address safety issues identified in the investigation, including ensuring that operations and training materials include clear language requiring abandoning an unstable approach; the need for recurrent dispatcher training that includes both dispatchers and flight crews; the need for all relevant weather information to be provided to pilots in dispatch and enroute reports; opportunities for improvement in fatigue awareness and management among pilots and operators; the need for increased awareness among pilots and operators of the limitations of terrain awareness and warning systems — and for procedures to assure safety given these limitations.

A synopsis of the NTSB report is available at: http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/2013/birmingham_al/birmingham_al.html

Top Copyright Photo: NTSB.

UPS Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. N155UP is pictured on the cargo ramp at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport before the tragic accident. Airbus A300F4-622R N155UP (msn 841) crashed on August 14, 2013 while on approach from the north to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, Birmingham, Alabama. The crew was operating cargo flight 5X 1354 from the Louisville hub to Birmingham. The two crew members were tragically killed in the crash.

UPS pilots want cargo pilots to be included in Part 117 regulations due to crew fatigue

UPS Airlines’ (United Parcel Service) (Atlanta and Louisville) pilots, represented through the Independent Pilots Association, have issued this statement concerning the current regulations excluding cargo pilots from Federal crew rest standards:

On the eve of the first anniversary of the fatal crash of United Parcel Service Flight 1354, UPS pilots are calling for an end to the carve-out of all-cargo airline operators from FAR Part 117, the new pilot rest and operating rules enacted by Congress. On August 14, 2013, at 4:47 AM CDT, UPS Flight 1354 crashed on approach to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, killing Captain Cerea Beal, Jr. and First Officer Shanda Fanning.

“What we didn’t know then, but suspected, was the role fatigue played in this accident,” said Captain Robert Travis, President of the Independent Pilots Association. “Once the Cockpit Voice Recorder transcripts were released there was no doubt. Cerea and Shanda told us on the CVR* that they were fatigued and wanted one level of safety in commercial aviation.”

Part 117, which became effective for passenger carriers on January 4, is the first major revision of pilot flight and duty limits and rest requirements in 60 years. This new rule is science-based and designed to mitigate fatigue among commercial pilots. Disturbingly, all-cargo airlines are carved out of Part 117 for “political” reasons, as noted last week by the FAA’s Federal Air Surgeon, Dr. James Fraser.

“This carve-out puts our nation’s entire aviation system at risk,” said Jim Hall, former Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. “A tired pilot is a tired pilot, regardless of the plane he or she may be flying. By excluding cargo pilots from Part 117, the FAA is failing to adhere to its mission of making safety the first priority in aviation. If the FAA believes even one life lost in an accident is too many, the principle should also apply to cargo pilots.”

From the moment the FAA announced the cargo carve-out, the IPA has fought to reverse it. This includes suing the FAA.

“We had no choice but to lead this fight,” said Travis. “The crash of UPS Flight 1354 has intensified our efforts. Tragically, Capt. Beal said to our Scheduling Committee Chairman just before the fatal flight, ‘these schedules over the past several years are killing me.’ We owe it to Cerea and Shanda, their families and every pilot, whether flying passengers or packages, to end this dangerous exclusion. As we mark this difficult anniversary, I call on the FAA to end the cargo carve-out and apply one level of safety to all commercial aviation.”

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A300F4-622R N155UP (msn 841) crashed on August 14, 2013 while on approach from the north to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, Birmingham, Alabama. The crew was operating cargo flight 5X 1354 from the Louisville hub to Birmingham. N155UP is pictured on the cargo ramp at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport before the tragic accident.

UPS:

Aer Lingus launches its new route to San Francisco

Aer Lingus (Dublin) yesterday (April 2) launched its inaugural flight to San Francisco. The flight, flight EI 147, was assigned to an Airbus A330-200 (EI-DUO) named St. Columba,

Aer Lingus will operate five flights per week from Dublin to San Francisco as part of its significant trans-Atlantic growth plan in 2014.

The 2014 growth plan includes:

· New routes from Dublin to San Francisco and Toronto (Pearson)
· Almost doubling of frequency on services from Shannon to Boston and New York (JFK)
· The addition of three Boeing 757 aircraft to the long haul fleet

Top Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-202 EI-DUO (msn 841) taxies at Shannon.

Bottom Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. EI-DUO arrives at SFO on the inaugural flight.

Aer Lingus A330-200 EI-DUO (96)(Nose) SFO (MDB)(LRW)

Aer Lingus:

AG Slide Show

 

UPS’ Airbus A300F4-622R N155UP crashes on approach to Birmingham, Alabama

UPS Airlines’ (UPS-United Parcel Service) (Atlanta and Louisville) Airbus A300F4-622R N155UP (msn 841) crashed this morning while on approach from the north to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, Birmingham, Alabama. The crew was operating cargo flight 5X 1354 from the Louisville hub to Birmingham. There were some showers in the area at the time of the accident. The two crew members were tragically killed in the crash.

The crash scene at Birmingham (NTSB):

UPS A300-600F N155UP Crash Birmingham (NTSB)

NTSB Final Briefing:

Bottom Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. N155UP is pictured on the cargo ramp at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport before the tragic accident.

UPS Airlines: AG Slide Show

Aer Lingus’ loss expands in the first half of 2013

Aer Lingus (Dublin) record a first half 2013 pre-tax loss of $21.7 million, an increase of  272.7 percent from the smaller loss in the first half of 2012. However the flag carrier was able to record a pre-tax profit of $38.6 million in the second quarter but it was not enough to offset the larger loss in the first quarter.

The airline put a positive spin of the second quarter:

Christoph Mueller, Aer Lingus’ CEO, commented:

“Aer Lingus is pleased to report an excellent business performance for the first half of 2013. All key revenue metrics have trended positively with passenger numbers up 1.3%, load factor up 2.0 points and growth in fare revenue per seat across short and long haul.

Our Q2 2013 revenue performance was particularly strong. We expanded long haul capacity by 16.3% in the quarter and successfully sold the additional seats, achieving a load factor of almost 95% in June. Short haul continues to trade positively. However, the weakness in UK routes identified in our Q1 results has continued in Q2. The first half of our financial year is seasonally loss making and we are reporting an operating loss (before exceptional items) which is €12.0 million higher than the prior year. This performance reflects the impact of a number of one-off factors including the start up of our contract flying operations and planned changes to our long haul fleet.

We continue to focus on our cost base and are conscious that certain planned cost saving initiatives have not had effect as quickly as we had initially hoped. However, the voluntary severance program we outlined at Q1 seeking a headcount reduction of 100 has been oversubscribed with expressions of interest. We expect the benefits of this programme will start to take effect towards the end of the current year with full year effect in 2014.

Bookings for the remainder of the year at 30 June 2013 were ahead of prior year with Q3 long haul looking particularly positive. However, this booking profile has somewhat eroded over July due to the good weather. Nonetheless, we maintain our guidance that 2013 operating profit, before net exceptional items, will be broadly in line with 2012.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Read the analysis from the Irish Times: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-202 EI-DUO (msn 841) taxies at the the Dublin hub.

Aer Lingus: AG Slide Show