We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Sun 11 Dec 2011 07:44 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

UPS pilot lost steering control before plane crash

Dubai report details events leading up to the 2010 crash which killed both crew

UPS pilot lost steering control before plane crash
The plane came down close to the Emirates road in Dubai on Sept 3, 2010
UPS pilot lost steering control before plane crash
The plane came down close to the Emirates road in Dubai on Sept 3, 2010

The
pilot of the USP plane that crashed in Dubai killing two people may not have
been able to steer due to a fire that caused the control cables to loosen, an
interim report by Dubai’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has said.

Smoke
from a fire reduced the pilot’s visibility as he tried to conduct an emergency
landing on Sept 3, 2010, the report said. The pilot also struggled with low
emergency oxygen before crashing into Nad Al Sheba military camp.

[Read an eyewitness account of the crash here]

“The
consequential effects of the fire regarding the compromised flight controls,
flight crew supplemental oxygen system, the environmental control system, fire
suppression and cockpit visibility are understood, however, further detailed
investigation is ongoing to determine the requisite safety recommendations to
address the findings,” noted GCAA.

GCAA’s
interim investigation into the accident, which took place less than an hour
after taking off Dubai International Airport, follows sheds further light on
the incident. The earlier report said the lithium batteries onboard the plane
should have been declared hazardous cargo.  

The
Boeing 747 was carrying flammable batteries that were “distributed throughout
the cargo decks” while “lithium ion battery packs” should have been singled out
and handled as hazardous cargo, an April report by the aviation authority said.
 

GCAA
also noted that the two shipments of lithium-ion batteries were tested “in
accordance with [UN] standards, no UN test report was provided to verify that
such tests were completed.”

The
interim report details the pilot’s request for emergency landing following the
outbreak of a fire on board shortly after take-off.  It details a
conversation between the two pilots in which Captain Doug Lampe tells First
Officer Matthew Bell he no longer has control of the airplane.

“The
DFDR [digital flight data recorder] indicates that there was a control column
movement anomaly between the input by the crew on the control column and the
travel of the elevators,” said the report.

The
Yemen wing of the terrorist group Al Qaeda had previously claimed it was behind
the plane crash following initial reports of an explosion on board.

The
use of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, used in laptops and mobile phones,
has soared since the late 1990s. The transportation of the batteries has become
increasing contentious following a fire onboard a UPS plane in the US five
years ago. Much of the investigation into the Dubai plane crash has centered on
its lithium-ion cargo.

The
Obama administration has attempted to impose regulations requiring that air
shipments of the batteries be treated as hazardous cargo because of the danger
of fires during flight. But US lawmakers last week tentatively blocked the
administration.

“We’re
very concerned that unless this issue is addressed we’ll continue to see
accidents and we’ll continue to see fatalities,” Mark Rogers, from the Air Line
Pilots Association’s committee on hazardous cargo, told AP.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Real news, real analysis and real insight have real value – especially at a time like this. Unlimited access ArabianBusiness.com can be unlocked for as little as $4.75 per month. Click here for more details.