Wednesday, July 24, 2013

United Parcel Service (UPS) Flight 6, Boeing 747-400F, N571UP: Accident occurred September 03, 2010 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

AAIS Case Reference: 13/2010 

Uncontained Cargo Fire Leading to Loss of Control
Inflight and Uncontrolled Descent Into Terrain

DUBAI// 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.

The 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.

The 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.

“We 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.

The 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.

And the cargo compartment liner failed as a fire and smoke barrier, meaning that the cockpit was exposed to “sustained and persistent smoke and toxic fumes.”

“The crew made several comments concerning their inability to see anything in the cockpit,” the report said.

The 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 monoxide inhalation,

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.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. The foreign authority was the source of this information.

At 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, Germany.

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
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates