Cargo plane had `smoke in cockpit` before Dubai crash

New details are surfacing in the UPS cargo plane crash that killed 2 pilots.

Last Updated: Sep 06, 2010, 09:21 AM IST

Dubai: Pilots of the UPS cargo plane, who died in the Friday crash, had to survive in the smoke-filled cockpit as they fought to maintain altitude and requested to land at the airport here, UAE`s civil aviation authority said.

Based on a preliminary report, General Civil Aviation Authority said air traffic controllers here received information from officials in Bahrain at 7:15 pm (local time), minutes before the crash, that the plane was returning to Dubai after reporting smoke in the cockpit.

United Parcel Service B744 plane left the Dubai International Airport at 6:53 pm for Cologne in Germany and crashed into the desert outside the city.

As per report, ATC issued clearance when the plane was approximately 40 km from touchdown, however, the ill-fated aircraft was high on the approach -- 8500 feet at 24km from touchdown.

The plane passed above the airfield "very high", the GCAA said in a statement, adding that it made a right turn before tracking south west and losing altitude rapidly.

At around 7:42 pm, radar contact was lost as the B744 crashed in an unpopulated area between the Emirates Road and Al Ain Highway, 50 minutes after being airborne.

The report confirmed that the investigation team had recovered the "black box" -- the digital flight data recorder -- approximately six hours after the accident and is gathering forensic evidence from the scene.

A team from the National Transportation Safety Board will arrive in the UAE to assist the GCAA in the crash investigation.

PTI