UPS crash investigation continues: Neighbor calls for runway improvements

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – As federal investigators continue their probe into the events surrounding the crash of a UPS A300 in Birmingham, some neighbors who witnessed the disaster are asking for more safety measures.

“Maybe about 15 minutes to 5 I hear the aircraft flying I hear it when it’s coming on final approach,” said Peter Torres, crash witness. “I hear like an explosion and then the ground shakes like a, like a bomb,”

“Thirteen seconds prior to the end of the recording one crew member reported to the other that the runway was in sight,” said Robert Sumwalt, NTSB member. “Nine seconds prior to the end of the recording we have sounds that are consistent impact.”

Whatever caused the crash, one neighbor who lives very close to the scene and heard it firsthand says this incident points out something that needs to be looked at-both for planes and the people who live next door.

Peter Torres, an aircraft mechanic and former pilot, says he will be approaching the FAA and the Birmingham Airport Authority about the possibility of lengthening runway 1-8. He also thinks the landscape should be more level heading into it.

“This short runway here-they’re going to have to make it longer and they’re going to have to put more conditions around here for, for to prevent another incident,” said Torres. “Because 200 feet in the air is like 1 foot in the ground. In a second the plane could be right on top of my house or it could be in the top of all these houses over here.”

Torres says he’s also seen planes leaving the airport fly treacherously close to the terrain.

“It would be 150 feet from the trees when they take off. I hope the Federal Aviation Administration, takes good care about this and they paid attention about this situation because this accident could be worse than what it was,” said Torres.

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