Doomed UPS Plane Sent No Distress Signal

One pilot identified: Shanda Fanning

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 15, 2013 2:06 AM CDT

(Newser) – The UPS cargo plane that crashed yesterday near Birmingham, Ala., didn't send out a distress signal prior to the disaster, ABC News reports. "We were told that there was no distress signal emitted from the airplane itself, and there were no calls for the airport or the control tower to assume that they were in any trouble," says Birmingham's mayor. The cause of the crash remains unclear; officials haven't yet been able to get the black-box recordings from the 2004-built Airbus 300.

Meanwhile, one of the two pilots' identities has emerged: Shanda Fanning, 37, of Tennessee, had been flying since her teenage years, the Tennesseean reports. Her brother-in-law confirmed her identity. She was "an excellent pilot" and "a good ol’ Southern country girl," says a friend and former flight teacher.

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Investigators examine debris of a UPS A300 cargo plane after it crashed on approach at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, in Birmingham, Ala. The two pilots aboard the airplane were killed.
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Investigators examine debris of a UPS A300 cargo plane after it crashed on approach at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013,...   (AP Photo/National Transportation Safety Board)
A postal Inspector officer and a NTSB investigator are seen through a section debris of a UPS A300 cargo plane after it crashed on approach at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.
A postal Inspector officer and a NTSB investigator are seen through a section debris of a UPS A300 cargo plane after it crashed on approach at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.   (AP Photo/Hal Yeager)
Investigators examine debris of a UPS cargo plane after it crashed on approach at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, in Birmingham, Ala.
Investigators examine debris of a UPS cargo plane after it crashed on approach at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, in Birmingham, Ala.   (AP Photo/National Transportation Safety Board)
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