By Verna Gates
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. Aug 16 U.S. government
investigators were able to retrieve data on Friday from flight
recorders pulled from the wreckage of a UPS cargo plane, which
could shed light on Wednesday's fiery crash in Alabama that
killed the jet's pilot and co-pilot.
"We do have good data," said National Transportation Safety
Board spokeswoman Kelly Nantel.
She said details would be released at an NTSB briefing
scheduled for 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) near the crash site in
It was the first confirmation that the cockpit voice and
flight data recorders from the downed United Parcel Service Inc
plane contained data that could help pinpoint the cause
of the crash.
The recorders arrived at the NTSB's headquarters in
Washington, D.C. late on Thursday, hours after they were pulled
from a heap of melted plastic and debris at the crash site.
Preliminary results from the agency's investigation, which
is still in its early stages, have shown no evidence of engine
fire, and the pilots did not issue a distress call.
The Airbus A300 jet was approaching the runway at
Birmingham-Shuttlesworth airport before dawn when it clipped the
trees in an adjacent residential area and crashed well short of
The NTSB has sent investigators to Louisville, Kentucky, to
study the A300's maintenance records, board member Robert
The Federal Bureau of Investigation was helping with
documentation and the collection of evidence, Sumwalt said in a
videotaped interview from the crash site, posted on the website
of the Birmingham News.
"I think the wreckage should probably be moved out of here
in about seven days," Sumwalt said. "We want to make sure we've
got everything documented before we release it to the airline."
UPS identified the crew members who died as 58-year-old
Cerea Beal Jr., of Matthews, North Carolina, and Shanda Fanning,
37, of Lynchburg, Tennessee.
Beal, the captain, had been with UPS since 1990, and before
that he served more than six years in the U.S. Marine Corps as
a helicopter operator.