Newspaper: UAE invites U.S. experts to investigate plane crash

21:56, October 23, 2009      

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A team of U.S. experts, including technicians from the plane maker Boeing, have been invited to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to assist in the probe into a cargo plane crash that killed six people Wednesday in Sharjah, The National reported Friday.

"We are inviting U.S. (experts) because they are more experienced with investigations of this kind. So we feel they can be helpful in determining the cause of the accident," Saif al Suwaidi, director general of the General Civil Aviation Authority, told the UAE daily paper.

Boeing also confirmed their involvement to the newspaper, saying it was on "standby to provide technical assistance in coordination with the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board."

The cargo plane, run by the Sudanese cargo firm Azza Transport, was a Boeing 707 that had been in operation since 1969, The National said.

According to witnesses, the plane banked sharply to the right as it took off from Sharjah International Airport before hitting the ground and exploding into flames.

It was reported that the pilot's quick actions prevented the aircraft from hitting nearby houses and causing a much greater disaster.

Al Suwaidi said the plane was not overloaded as had previously been suggested, adding that it was carrying six tons less than its maximum capacity of 37 tons.

Both flight recorders, recovered Wednesday night, would be sent abroad to Europe, Canada or the United States for analysis, he said.

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