The UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) says that the UPS cargo plane that crashed on 3 September reported that the cockpit had filled with smoke and was unable to maintain altitude.

The UPS Boeing 747 cargo plane had left Dubai International airport and was on its way to Cologne in Germany.

The plane was in Bahraini airspace when “information was received from Bahrain that the aircraft was returning to Dubai Airport with smoke in the cockpit,” says a GCAA statement. The UAE air traffic control centre centre cleared the aircraft for landing and said that all runways were available.

The plane tracked then southwest and continued to lose altitude. Radar contact was lost and the plane crashed at a military base between Emirates road and the Al-Ain highway (MEED 5:9:10).

Both pilots were killed in the crash.

A UPS statement said that the plane was just three years old and up to date on maintenance.

The GCAA are still investigating the scene of the crash and have already recovered the cockpit voice recorder from the plane. Efforts are now underway to find the digital flight data recorder.

A team from the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) arrived in the UAE on 5 September to assist the GCAA team in the crash investigation.