National Transportation Safety Board
Aviation Accident Final Report

 

 

Location:

Birmingham, AL

Accident Number:

DCA13MA133

Date & Time:

08/14/2013, 0440 CDT

Registration:

N155UP

Aircraft:

AIRBUS A300 - F4 622R

Aircraft Damage:

Destroyed

Defining Event:

Controlled flight into terr/obj (CFIT)

Injuries:

2 Fatal

Flight Conducted Under:

Part 121: Air Carrier - Non-scheduled

Analysis

The Safety Board's full report is available at http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Pages/aviation.aspx. The Aircraft Accident Report number is NTSB/AAR-14/02.

On August 14, 2013, about 0447 central daylight time (CDT), United Parcel Service (UPS) flight 1354, an Airbus A300-600, N155UP, crashed short of runway 18 during a localizer nonprecision approach to runway 18 at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM), Birmingham, Alabama. The captain and first officer were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed by impact forces and postcrash fire. The nonscheduled cargo flight was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 121 on an instrument flight rules flight plan, and dark night visual flight rules conditions prevailed at the airport; variable instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) with a variable ceiling were present north of the airport on the approach course at the time of the accident. The flight originated from Louisville International Airport-Standiford Field (SDF), Louisville, Kentucky, about 0503 eastern daylight time (EDT).

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
the flight crew's continuation of an unstabilized approach and their failure to monitor the aircraft's altitude during the approach, which led to an inadvertent descent below the minimum approach altitude and subsequently into terrain. Contributing to the accident were (1) the flight crew's failure to properly configure and verify the flight management computer for the profile approach; (2) the captain's failure to communicate his intentions to the first officer once it became apparent the vertical profile was not captured; (3) the flight crew's expectation that they would break out of the clouds at 1,000 feet above ground level due to incomplete weather information; (4) the first officer's failure to make the required minimums callouts;  (5) the captain's performance deficiencies likely due to factors including, but not limited to, fatigue, distraction, or confusion, consistent with performance deficiencies exhibited during training; and (6) the first officer's fatigue due to acute sleep loss resulting from her ineffective off-duty time management and circadian factors.

Findings

Aircraft

Descent/approach/glide path - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Flt management computing sys - Incorrect use/operation (Factor)

Personnel issues

Monitoring equip/instruments - Flight crew (Cause)

Use of automation - Flight crew (Factor)

Lack of communication - Pilot (Factor)

Lack of communication - Copilot (Factor)

Task performance - Pilot (Factor)

Lack of sleep - Copilot (Factor)

Environmental issues

Ceiling/visibility/precip - Awareness of condition (Factor)

Low ceiling - Accuracy of related info (Factor)

Factual Information

The Safety Board's full report is available at http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Pages/aviation.aspx. The Aircraft Accident Report number is NTSB/AAR-14/02.

On August 14, 2013, about 0447 central daylight time (CDT), United Parcel Service (UPS) flight 1354, an Airbus A300-600, N155UP, crashed short of runway 18 during a localizer nonprecision approach to runway 18 at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM), Birmingham, Alabama. The captain and first officer were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed by impact forces and postcrash fire. The nonscheduled cargo flight was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 121 on an instrument flight rules flight plan, and dark night visual flight rules conditions prevailed at the airport; variable instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) with a variable ceiling were present north of the airport on the approach course at the time of the accident. The flight originated from Louisville International Airport-Standiford Field (SDF), Louisville, Kentucky, about 0503 eastern daylight time (EDT).

 

History of Flight

Approach-IFR final approach

Controlled flight into terr/obj (CFIT) (Defining event)

 

 

Pilot Information

Certificate:

Airline Transport

Age:

58

Airplane Rating(s):

Multi-engine Land

Seat Occupied:

Left

Other Aircraft Rating(s):

Helicopter

Restraint Used:

 

Instrument Rating(s):

Airplane

Second Pilot Present:

Yes

Instructor Rating(s):

None

Toxicology Performed:

Yes

Medical Certification:

Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations

Last FAA Medical Exam:

04/16/2013

Occupational Pilot:

Yes

Last Flight Review or Equivalent:

06/26/2013

Flight Time:

6406 hours (Total, all aircraft), 3265 hours (Total, this make and model), 1516 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 97 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 41 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

 

 

Co-Pilot Information

Certificate:

Airline Transport

Age:

37

Airplane Rating(s):

Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land

Seat Occupied:

Right

Other Aircraft Rating(s):

None

Restraint Used:

 

Instrument Rating(s):

Airplane

Second Pilot Present:

Yes

Instructor Rating(s):

None

Toxicology Performed:

Yes

Medical Certification:

Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations

Last FAA Medical Exam:

01/07/2013

Occupational Pilot:

Yes

Last Flight Review or Equivalent:

06/26/2013

Flight Time:

1253 hours (Total, all aircraft), 403 hours (Total, this make and model), 0 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 95 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 31 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

 

 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make:

AIRBUS

Registration:

N155UP

Model/Series:

A300 - F4 622R F4 622R

Aircraft Category:

Airplane

Year of Manufacture:

 

Amateur Built:

No

Airworthiness Certificate:

Transport

Serial Number:

0841

Landing Gear Type:

Retractable - Tricycle

Seats:

7

Date/Type of Last Inspection:

08/14/2013, Continuous Airworthiness

Certified Max Gross Wt.:

375900 lbs

Time Since Last Inspection:

 

Engines:

2 Turbo Fan

Airframe Total Time:

11043 Hours as of last inspection

Engine Manufacturer:

P & W

ELT:

Installed, not activated

Engine Model/Series:

PW4158

Registered Owner:

UNITED PARCEL SERVICE CO

Rated Power:

58000 lbs

Operator:

UNITED PARCEL SERVICE CO

Operating Certificate(s) Held:

Flag carrier (121)

Operator Does Business As:

UNITED PARCEL SERVICE CO

Operator Designator Code:

IPXA

 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:

Unknown

Condition of Light:

Night/Dark

Observation Facility, Elevation:

BHM, 650 ft msl

Distance from Accident Site:

1 Nautical Miles

Observation Time:

0953 UTC

Direction from Accident Site:

180°

Lowest Cloud Condition:

Few / 1100 ft agl

Visibility

10 Miles

Lowest Ceiling:

Broken / 3500 ft agl

Visibility (RVR):

 

Wind Speed/Gusts:

4 knots /

Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:

/ None

Wind Direction:

340°

Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:

/

Altimeter Setting:

29.97 inches Hg

Temperature/Dew Point:

 / 22°C

Precipitation and Obscuration:

 

Departure Point:

Louisville, KY (SDF)

Type of Flight Plan Filed:

IFR

Destination:

Birmingham, AL (BHM)

Type of Clearance:

IFR

Departure Time:

 

Type of Airspace:

Class C

 

Airport Information

Airport:

Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Inter (BHM)

Runway Surface Type:

 

Airport Elevation:

650 ft

Runway Surface Condition:

Wet

Runway Used:

18

IFR Approach:

Localizer Only; RNAV

Runway Length/Width:

7099 ft / 150 ft

VFR Approach/Landing:

 

 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries:

2 Fatal

Aircraft Damage:

Destroyed

Passenger Injuries:

N/A

Aircraft Fire:

On-Ground

Ground Injuries:

N/A

Aircraft Explosion:

None

Total Injuries:

2 Fatal

Latitude, Longitude:

33.563889, -86.802222

 


 


Administrative Information

Investigator In Charge (IIC):

Daniel R Bower

Report Date:

02/03/2015

Additional Participating Persons:

Bob Hendrickson 202-340-6406 (c); FAA

Reed  Potecha 267-319-6354; UPS

Stephen Whyte 630-404-2737 (c); IPA

Bob Bao 860-830-5220 (c); Pratt and Whitney

Brian Stephenson 502-689-3190; IBT (Teamsters)

Jim Payne 205-266-7647 (c); Birmingham Airport Authority

Romain Bevillard +33 6 15 89 17 80; BEA

Denis CADOUX +33 676116513; AIRBUS

Publish Date:

03/12/2015

Note:

The NTSB traveled to the scene of this accident.

Investigation Docket:

http://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms/search/dockList.cfm?mKey=87780