WASHINGTON Aug 25 The U.S. National
Transportation Safety Board told United Parcel Service Inc
and its pilots union on Monday they can no longer take
part in the investigation of a 2013 crash that killed two UPS
The accident agency said in a statement the Independent
Pilots Association and UPS Airlines had violated a participation
agreement by publicly commenting on the investigation into the
Birmingham, Alabama, crash before the board's public meeting on
The decision bars UPS and the union from the investigation
into the crash of an A300-600 cargo plane as it tried to land in
August 2013. Pilot Cerea Beal Jr. and first officer Shanda
Fanning were killed.
The union issued a statement on Aug. 13 providing an
analysis of the crash, and UPS responded with its own analysis.
The NTSB has sole responsibility for releasing
investigation-related information while a probe is under way.
"It doesn't matter who started it. Neither action is
acceptable," acting Chairman Christopher Hart said in the
The NTSB may grant "party status" to organizations that can
provide technical help in an investigation.
An NTSB report in February said that updated software would
have given UPS pilots an earlier warning that they were too low
before they crashed.
The report said the crew did not get a "too low terrain"
warning until one second after the first sound of impact with
trees during the plane's descent.
(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Jim Loney)