Cargo Jet crash kills 2 crew members

Published Aug 16, 2013 at 05:00AM

NTSB investigators work around the tail section of a UPS cargo plane that crashed on approach to the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport on Thursday in Birmingham, Ala.

Federal investigators found no initial evidence that a UPS cargo jet suffered engine failure or was burning before it clipped trees at the end of a runway and slammed into a hillside, killing the two crew members onboard, officials said.

UPS on Thursday night identified the victims as Capt. Cerea Beal, Jr., 58, of Matthews, N.C. and First Officer Shanda Fanning, 37, of Lynchburg, Tenn. In an email, the company said the Jefferson County, Ala., medical examiner had confirmed their identities.

Robert Sumwalt, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board, said during a news conference that the findings were only preliminary, and investigators hope to get additional evidence from data and voice recorders that were pulled from the plane’s burned-out tail section earlier in the day.