UPS Plane Crash Spurs Safety Improvements, Recommendations

July 24--A government investigation of a 2010 UPS cargo plane crash in Dubai that killed two pilots concluded with a series of recommendations to prevent such incidents in the future, according to a report released Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Sandy Springs-based shipping giant UPS said it continues to work to reduce the risk of in-flight fires.

The report issued Wednesday by the General Civil Aviation Authority of the United Arab Emirates said the Boeing 747 in that crash had a fire that developed in cargo in pallets and "escalated rapidly into a catastrophic uncontained fire." The report included recommendations for regulators to develop standards on containers with suppression systems.

After making changes since the crash, including retrofitting planes with full-face oxygen masks and smoke goggles, UPS said this week it ordered 1,821 fire-resistant shipping containers to be delivered starting in September. The containers can contain a fire up to 1,200 degrees for more than four hours -- offering enough time for pilots to land.

"Fire onboard an aircraft has long been a top concern for the National Transportation Safety Board," NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman said in a written statement.

UPS also said it is pursuing Federal Aviation Administration certification for a fire suppression unit inside a container.

Copyright 2013 - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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