Dubai, UAE, 11 October 2010: The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) revealed new details regarding the ongoing investigation of the UPS Boeing 747 - 400 Cargo crash on 3rd September 2010 in Dubai.
The investigation is progressing with the remaining aircraft wreckage removed recently from the accident site. Components of the wreckage required for further forensic investigation will be in GCAA custody in a secured unit, until such time the investigation is concluded
Onsite forensic examination of the wreckage by fire specialists highlighted several areas of interest. Further to that, detailed laboratory analysis is being conducted by the NTSB under the guidance of GCAA investigators. As the investigation progresses, additional components of the aircraft and the cargo may be shipped to USA for a detailed analysis to establish the cause of fire.
GCAA investigators, in conjunction with international investigation agencies, have initiated an in-depth technical investigation into key areas of the flight where the retrieved digital flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorder indicate areas of significant interest. Also being investigated is the international logistical cargo network, the point of origin of the suspected cargo, along with the current regulatory frame work for the carriage of dangerous goods and the way it was handled at the point of departure and at arrival at Dubai International Airport.
Further on, the GCAA investigators are working closely with the aircraft manufacturer and the cargo operator to initiate procedural changes which the investigation highlighted may have been a contributory factor to certain elements of the cockpit crew coordination – this action is ongoing and is making steady progress.
In particular the investigation is focusing on how was the emergency handled by the crew , and their ability to function effectively after the cargo caught fire , the subsequent smoke, the and the stability of the aircraft as the cargo fire progressed, in conjunction with tribulations with radio communication experienced by the them.
This is the focus of an international effort to gain a comprehensive understanding of the risks associated with specific hazardous cargo which under certain conditions could ignite and the resulting fire could self propagate.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the USA are working currently on a draft provision highlighting the risks associated with the carriage of lithium (or lithium derivative) batteries.