By Russ Niles, Editor-in-Chief
The UPS Boeing 747-400 that crashed in Dubai Friday was only three years old and had less than 10,000 hours on it, according to a news release issued by the company on Saturday. UPS identified the pilots killed in the crash as Capt. Doug Lampe, 48, of Louisville, Ky., and FO Matthew Bell, 38, of Sanford, Fla. They were based in Anchorage. According to Dubai's National newspaper, the pilot reported a fire on board and was trying to return to the airport. The aircraft had been airborne for 38 minutes before the crash. There is also speculation the pilot deliberately headed for an empty area of a military base, where it crashed. There were no injuries on the ground. The cockpit voice recorder was recovered on Saturday but the flight data recorder has not been recovered.
It was UPS's first crash, although there have been five mishaps on the ground involving UPS aircraft, including a DC-8 that was destroyed after pilots managed to land the burning aircraft in Philadelphia in 2006. The NTSB has dispatched a team to investigate and UPS says it's doing what it can to help the pilots' families. "This is a terrible tragedy, and all of us at UPS extend our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of both of these crewmembers," said UPS CEO Scott Davis. "Our thoughts and prayers will continue to be with them during this difficult time."