Aerial view of UPS cargo plane crash scene

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Debris from the crash is scattered everywhere. You’ve seen images of it from the ground.

Now tonight, we’re taking you in the air to see exactly what investigators are dealing with.

Aerial footage of the crash site shows the scale of the wreck- and the proximity of the burning wreckage to houses.

PHOTOS: Aerial view of the crash

We shot this video earlier by helicopter. You can see what appears to be a trench marking where the jet went down after reportedly clipping some trees. It apparently broke apart then came to rest in smoking rubble near the runway. One EMA representative says the scene spans over a thousand yards.

It appears to have flown incredibly close to homes.

UPS confirms the plane went down on approach to Birmingham.

The NTSB was on the scene for hours
Wednesday and firefighters were there from before sunrise to after sunset. Crews will be on the crash site throughout the night.

“Looking at the fuselage it was still intact where the pilots were, but you know when you hit the ground at that speed it’s, you know it’s a tough situation for them and you know it’s a sad situation, it’s a sad day for you know those and their families and at the same time it could have been a lot worse because that plane could have come down just a little bit sooner and resulted in more loss of life,” said Joe Knight, Jefferson County EMA.

“It’s a terrible situation. As I understand it, it clipped some trees coming in. I don’t know what went wrong that’s going to be up to the NTSB and you know, they’ll, they’ll do a full investigation. I understand they’ll be out here five to seven days doing an investigation, maybe longer- it just depends, but the Jefferson County EMA’s going to supply lights, we’ll have, we’ll secure the area- we’ll keep it secure until the officials can come in and start clearing the debris field.”

Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42

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