BIRMINGHAM, AL (WAFF) - The National Transportation Safety Board has recovered the black boxes from Wednesday's UPS plane crash in Birmingham.
They have been taken Washington, D.C. The NTSB Go-Team could not get to the recording devices previously because the tail of the plane was still smoldering.
The pilot and co-pilot of UPS Flight 1354 were killed when their plane crashed on approach to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport around 5 a.m.
"Our goal is to find out not only what happened, but more importantly, why it happened so we can keep it from happening again," said NTSB Board Member Robert Sumwalt.
The NTSB has a 26 member go-team working the crash site. Sumwalt said they have a lot of factors to consider what's behind the early morning accident.
Thursday evening, NTSB investigators interviewed the air traffic controllers who were on duty in the tower at the time of the crash. They want to hear their narrative on what happened, specifically asking about radar, weather conditions, lighting on the runway, any bird issues or anything out of the ordinary.
Those trained eyes on the ground will likely be key pieces of the investigation, and so will information from UPS.
Friday, investigators will travel to Louisville, corporate headquarters for UPS. They will go over the maintenance records on the Airbus 300 as well as crew records, looking at flight schedules, training and employment records.
In Washington, D.C., the NTSB should also kinow Friday if they will be able to glean any usable data from those black boxes.
So far, preliminary evidence from the plane and the debris field show that there was no pre-impact fire from either of the jet's engines before Wednesday's pre-dawn crash and Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport.