UPS 1354 at Birmingham, AL BHM

UPS 1354 crash BHM

The all weather runway at BHM was closed by some one in ATC at the request of the field electrical maintenance office. This was done on a scheduled basis, ahead of time, probably in writing. Why did or didn’t someone in ATC coordinate the scheduled arrival of the UPS 1354 with the maintenance work request? Who and why did someone in ATC make the decision on a night with IFR or MVFR weather to give priority between a scheduled airline arriving at 5am and a field electrician for the main all weather instrument runway, to the field electrician? UPS Airline is a scheduled FAR Part 121 airline, so how is it that no one in BHM FAA ATC office did not know or keep track of this schedule? Why, when the FAA departure to arrival flight-following flight plan (old circuit B) generated by the departure from Louisville (SDF) of UPS 1354 come off the printer in the BHM ATC office, did the ATC supervisor not clear the field electrician off the all weather runway in time for this scheduled arrival? Who made that decision and why? Was it an arbitrary decision or was it in keeping with FAA ATC SOP?
Why did the NTSB not delve into this question? Why did no one ask this question? Did something influence NTSB & FAA investigators to not look here? In my opinion we owe it to the flight crew members, who for some unexplained reason, were forced by BHM ATC into shooting a non-precision 1940’s technology instrument approach over dangerous hilly terrain on a foggy night, all while a perfectly good, multi-million dollar, latest technology precision instrument approach system lay unassigned so that someone could change out light bulbs. Why have all this expensive, highly engineered technology at all, if it can be over ridden by what appears to be the policy of “two levels of safety” amongst people in the FAA rearing its ugly head, once again?


Published by Capt. Paul Miller

Aviation safety expert with 43 years in the sky

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