BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- Landing on Runway 18 at Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport can be tricky for pilots, particularly ones flying big jets like the UPS cargo carrier that crashed this week, killing two people.
With a large hill and trees at one end, the runway lacks the electronics for a full instrument landing. That forces pilots to make key judgments about altitude while aiming a descending aircraft at a runway that's 5,000 feet shorter than the airport's main runway, which was closed for maintenance work.
Ross Aimer, a veteran commercial pilot, says some pilots simply avoid landing on that runway when possible.
The National Transportation Safety Board hasn't determined what caused the crash of the UPS A300 airplane early Wednesday, but officials have said a preliminary investigation didn't reveal any evidence of engine failure.