UPS cargo plane crashes in Dubai

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A UPS cargo plane crashed in Dubai last Friday, 3rd September. The Boeing 747-400 was flying to Cologne from Dubai International Airport, when the incident occurred shortly after takeoff.

Two crewmembers, captain Doug Lampe of Louisville, Kentucky, and first officer Matthew Bell of Sanford, Florida, lost their lives in the crash.

“This is a terrible tragedy, and all of us at UPS extend our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of both of these crewmembers,” said UPS chief executive officer Scott Davis.

UPS said that the plane was up to date on all maintenance, and passed inspection in June 2010.

The aircraft, tail number N571UP, entered UPS service off the Boeing production line in September 2007. The airframe had flown 9,977 hours, completing 1,764 take-offs and landings.

The B747-400 has a payload capacity of 117 tonnes, and is used on long-range international routes, such as the regular Dubai-Cologne service.

The US National Transport Safety Board is dispatching an aviation investigation team to assist the General Civil Aviation Authority of the United Arab Emirates in the crash investigation.

Senior air safety investigator Bill English has been assigned as the US accredited representative. His team will include specialists in the areas of human performance, fire, operations and systems.

Technical advisors from the FAA, Boeing, UPS, GE and the Independent Pilots Association will also assist.

“We established an internal command centre within minutes of learning of this tragedy. It will be staffed around the clock with experts from every part of our operation,” said UPS airlines president Bob Lekites. “Safe, secure operations are our top priorities for our employees, our customers, and our public stakeholders.”

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