US freight carrier UPS' Boeing 747-400 which crashed while attempting an emergency return to Dubai had entered service just three years ago.

The airframe, N571UP, had accumulated 9,977hr over a total of 1,764 cycles, the carrier states.

"It was up to date on all maintenance," adds UPS, pointing out that the aircraft had undergone a "major inspection" in June this year.

UPS ordered eight 747-400 freighters in 2005, fitted with General Electric CF6 engines, and started taking delivery of the aircraft in 2007.

Last year the carrier also agreed to acquire four 747-400Fs from Cargolux, as the Luxembourg-based operator renewed its fleet with 747-8Fs.

UPS says both pilots of the aircraft which crashed at Dubai were stationed at its Anchorage base. The captain had been with the carrier since 1995, the first officer since 2006.

United Arab Emirates investigators state that the pilots of the aircraft, which had departed for Cologne on 3 September, were trying to return to Dubai after the outbreak of fire.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news