UPS Crew told Plane was sinking fast

The pilots on board the United Parcel Service cargo plane that crashed last week were given a warning the plane was descending to quickly, just seconds prior to impact, said crash investigators.

An alert in the cockpit announced, “sink rate, sink rate,” only seven seconds prior to the first sounds that the plane had impacted on the ground.

This was the first information provided from the voice and data recorders from the plane.

An air controller at the tower in the airport told investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board he had watched the Airbus SAS A300 just prior to dawn as it approached the airport. He said he saw what he thought was a bright spark flash, which at the time he equated to the breaking of a power line.

The air controller then lost a line of site of the landing lights on the plane, which was then followed by an orange flash, said the controller and then came a red glow. At that time, the air controller immediately activated the phone for crashes.

The plane hit trees and one utility line prior to hitting a hillside, said members of the NTSB. It then broke apart and burst into flames north of the runway.

In a release by UPS, it said that Cerea Beal the flight’s captain from North Carolina and Shanda Fanning, the First Officer from Tennessee had died in the crash.

Information said they had started their day at 9:30 pm in Illinois the night before the crash. The two were finishing their third flight of that night when the crash occurred just prior to 5 am.

Beal was hired in 1990 by UPS and had more than 8,600 hours of experience flying, said NTSB officials.

Fanning had over 6,500 hours of flying experience and was hired by UPS in 2006.