Narrative:UPS Flight 1354, an Airbus A300F4-622R, N155UP, crashed and burst into flames near Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM). Both pilots were killed.
Flight 1354 departed Louisville International Airport, KY (SDF) about 05:04 hours EDT on a regular cargo service to Birmingham (BHM).
The flight was on approach to runway 18 when it struck trees. The airplane contacted terrain and crashed in a field, 1000 m short of the runway.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the flight crew’s continuation of an unstabilized approach and their failure to monitor the aircraft’s altitude during the approach, which led to an inadvertent descent below the minimum approach altitude and subsequently into terrain. Contributing to the accident were
(1) the flight crew’s failure to properly configure and verify the flight management computer for the profile approach;
(2) the captain’s failure to communicate his intentions to the first officer once it became apparent the vertical profile was not captured;
(3) the flight crew’s expectation that they would break out of the clouds at 1,000 feet above ground level due to incomplete weather information;
(4) the first officer’s failure to make the required minimums callouts;
(5) the captain’s performance deficiencies likely due to factors including, but not limited to, fatigue, distraction, or confusion, consistent with performance deficiencies exhibited during training; and
(6) the first officer’s fatigue due to acute sleep loss resulting from her ineffective off-duty time management and circadian factor.
Insufficient rest / fatigue
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Ground
METAR Weather report:
09:53 UTC / 04:53 local time: KBHM 140953Z 34004KT 10SM FEW011 BKN035 OVC075 23/22 A2997 RMK AO2 SLP141 T02330222
Follow-up / safety actions
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not
display the exact flight path.
Distance from Louisville International Airport, KY to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, AL as the crow flies is 517 km (323 miles).