and a near miss for families inside their homes near an airport. As a giant cargo plane came in for a landing and crashed in alabama. What happened? Abc's david kerley with the investigation tonight.... See More
and a near miss for families inside their homes near an airport. As a giant cargo plane came in for a landing and crashed in alabama. What happened? Abc's david kerley with the investigation tonight. Reporter: Huge flames erupted just before dawn, as the giant ups cargo jet shattered into pieces, crashing just short of the birmingham airport and a quarter mile from several homes. Really loud. And then it shook the house. It rattled the house. The whole house. Reporter: A big fire ball. It was three of them. It was three pieces that rolled back down the hill. Reporter: With daylight, a clear picture of how the airbus 5-300 broke apart and burned. A wing here. Engines there. The nose section mostly intact. But back in the neighborhood, cornelius and barbara benson -- I didn't know what it was. I thought it was judgment day. Reporter: Couldn't believe their eyes when they came outside. The big jet had sheared off treeing, raining air craft debris all over their lawn. That's part of the fuselage. That's correct. Reporter: It was around 6:00 this morning that the ups jet on a flight from louisville ended up too low, no merge call. It sheared off the benson's trees and slammed to the ground on a hill just short of the runway. Ntsb investigators arrived quickly. The tail section is still smoldering. For that reason, we have not been able to get in and get the black boxes. Reporter: With the asiana 777 crashing short of the run way in san francisco, and now this wide body ups jet doing the same here, the number of crashes during landing is becoming worrisome. In the past decade, 46% of all deadly crashes around the world have come during landing. If you want to take a look at the concern, it's starting to grow when you're getting toward that mark that's more than half of the flights, accidents are attributed to an approach and landing. Reporter: Investigators hope to learn if it's human error or something deadly wrong with our flight systems. David kerley, abc news, birmingham.
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