UPS pilot from Tennessee remembered for love of flying

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Investigators examine debris of a UPS A300 cargo plane after it crashed on approach at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, in Birmingham, Ala. The two pilots aboard the airplane were killed. (AP Photo/National Transportation Safety Board)

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Investigators examine debris of a UPS A300 cargo plane after it crashed on approach at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, in Birmingham, Ala. The two pilots aboard the airplane were killed. (AP Photo/National Transportation Safety Board)

UNDATED -- A Tennesseean who died when a UPS cargo jet crashed in Alabama is being remembered as a skilled pilot who fulfilled her life's ambition thriving in a male-dominated profession.

The Jefferson County, Ala., medical examiner on Thursday night confirmed the identities of the two pilots aboard the A300 jet as 37-year-old First Officer Shanda Fanning of Lynchburg, Tenn., and 58-year-old Capt. Cerea Beal Jr. of Matthews, N.C. Both pilots died when the jet crashed in a field near the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport early Wednesday.

Hank Williamson, manager of the Shelbyville, Tenn., Municipal Airport, hired Fanning to refuel planes and assist customers in the late 1990s. He said Thursday that Fanning "lived and breathed aviation." He said she was known as a good pilot whose goal was to fly for a major airline.


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