AAIS Case Reference: 13/2010
AIR ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION SECTOR
AIR ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION REPORT
Uncontained Cargo Fire Leading to Loss of Control
Inflight and Uncontrolled Descent Into Terrain
A plane crash that killed two people in 2010 was caused by a large fire
that began in cargo containing lithium batteries, a final report from
the General Civil Aviation Authority said.
The 322-page report, released today, confirmed the cause posited in an interim report in 2011.
report also included 36 recommendations to prevent similar crashes,
such as a review of the regulations for packing hazardous materials,
systems to detect fires earlier in cargo compartments and mandating
devices that improve pilot visibility in smoke.
UPS Flight 6
crashed in Dubai on September 3, 2010 less than an hour after taking
off, killing two American crew members: Captain Doug Lampe, 48, and
First Officer Matthew Bell, 38.
The Boeing 747-400 cargo plane
had left Dubai International Airport en route to Cologne, Germany. But
the pilots reported smoke in the cockpit soon after takeoff. Bahraini
air traffic control suggested the plane land in Doha, but the pilots
chose to return to Dubai.
The plane overflew the airport and crashed in the Nad Al Sheba Military Camp.
General Civil Aviation Authority team worked with representatives from
UPS, Boeing, the US Government National Transportation Safety Board and
the US Federal Aviation Administration on the investigation.
aim through this report to help the local and the international aviation
industry to conclude important lessons for a safer and more secure
aviation industry,” said Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, director general of
the aviation authority.
The final report indicated that shippers
of some of the lithium battery cargo loaded onto the plane in Hong Kong
“did not properly declare these shipments” and did not provide battery
test reports in compliance with UN recommendations, the report found.
contents of a cargo pallet with lithium batteries “auto-ignited” and
caused a “large and sustained cargo fire” which was not detected by the
smoke detectors in its early stages.
When the Captain decided to turn back, the crew was not aware of the full extent of the fire.
The aircraft’s control mechanisms were compromised because of thermal damage to the control cable assemblies, the report said.
the cargo compartment liner failed as a fire and smoke barrier, meaning
that the cockpit was exposed to “sustained and persistent smoke and
“The crew made several comments concerning their inability to see anything in the cockpit,” the report said.
Captain’s oxygen supply stopped, possibly due to the failure of the
hose. As he was looking for a supplementary oxygen bottle, he was
“overcome by the fumes,” the report said. His cause of death was carbon
The First Officer took over but had breathing difficulties and the flight descended uncontrolled.
NTSB Identification: DCA10RA092
Accident occurred Friday, September 03, 2010 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Aircraft: BOEING 747-44AF, registration: N571UP
Injuries: 2 Fatal.
is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors.
The foreign authority was the source of this information.
about 7:45 pm local time (1545 UTC), United Parcel Service (UPS) Flight
6, a Boeing 747-400F (N571UP), crashed while attempting to land at Dubai
International Airport (DXB), Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Approximately 45 minutes after takeoff, the crew declared an emergency
due to smoke in the cockpit and requested a return to DXB. The two
flight crew members were fatally injured. The airplane was being
operated as a scheduled cargo flight from Dubai, UAE to Cologne,
The investigation is being led by the UAE General Civil
Aviation Authority (GCAA). The NTSB has designated a U.S. Accredited
Representative as the state of the operator and state of design and
manufacture of the airplane and engines.
All inquiries should be directed to:
General Civil Aviation Authority
Regulations and Investigation Section
P.O. Box 6558
United Arab Emirates