Business, Economics and Jobs

Pilot killed in UPS plane crash a part of Jack Daniels family (VIDEO)


A UPS cargo plane sits on the tarmac of Dubai airport on October 31, 2010, the day after a parcel bomb was intercepted in Dubai on a cargo plane originating from Yemen.


Karim Sahib

One of the pilots killed in a UPS cargo plane crash outside the Birmingham, Ala., airport is a member of the family who owns the Jack Daniels distillery.

Shanda Fanning is the wife of Bret Fanning, whose family operates the whiskey distillery in Lynchberg, Tenn., WAVE reported.

The name of the other pilot has not been released.

The Airbus A300 had left Louisville, Ky., and was on final approach into Birmingham's International Airport when it suddenly went down about 6:19 a.m. Wednesday, according to ABC News.

The plane burst into flames upon slamming into the ground, and also cut off power to 76 customers after the craft came into contact with power lines, Alabama's 13 news reported. The plane appears to have split into pieces.

"It was quite a large fire and there were two to three explosions after the plane caught fire, after the crash itself," Birmingham Mayor William Bell told the Chicago Tribune.

Authorities confirmed both the pilot and co-pilot were killed in the crash, prompting the National Transportation Safety Board to launch a full investigation into the crash, sending a "Go-Team" of investigators to the scene. 

"The NTSB investigation will be led by our lead investigator in charge, Dr. Dan Bower, accompanied by experts in the area of structures, power plants, systems, air traffic control, human performance, aircraft performance, and a number of disciplines," NTSB's Robert Sumwalt said. 

"This incident is very unfortunate, and our thoughts and prayers are with those involved," UPS Airlines president Mitch Nichols said in a statement, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

The crash is only the second for the package-delivery giant, the Wall Street Journal reported. In a 2010 incident, a Boeing 747 crashed near Dubai and killed two pilots, likely due to a fire started by lithium batteries on board. 

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