A relative of Fanning had previously identified her as one of the crew members who died.
Wes Fanning, who said he was the woman's brother-in-law, said Shanda Fanning had been flying since she was a teenager.
He said officials contacted her mother and that UPS representatives were with the family.
Hank Williamson, manager of the municipal airport in Shelbyville, Tenn., where Fanning grew up, hired her to refuel planes and assist customers in 1999. She held the job for three years and earned a reputation as a personable employee and good pilot who "lived and breathed aviation."
"Her life's dream was to fly," he said. "She was doing what she loved to do. She was very conscientious about it. Her goal in life was to be an airline pilot for a major carrier."
Lin Tillman, who worked with her at the airport at the time, recalled that Fanning spoke of how her father worked long hours at a manufacturing plant to help her get through college and to obtain her pilot's license. That helped kindle a strong desire to succeed, as she progressed from flying a single-engine plane to eventually huge UPS cargo jets.
"She said she became determined to never let him down, because he sacrificed for her to become a pilot," Tillman said.
Ryan Wimbleduff, who lives just across the street from the airport property, said the crash shook his house violently. Standing in his driveway, he and his mother could see the burning wreckage.
Wimbleduff said it can be unsettling to live so near low-flying, big aircraft.
"We'll sometimes be outside and joke about being able to throw rocks at them, they're so close," he said.
Cornelius Benson, 75, said planes routinely fly so low over his house that a few years ago, the airport authority sent crews to trim treetops.
The plane was built in 2003 and had logged about 11,000 flight hours over 6,800 flights, Airbus said in a news release.
The A300, Airbus' first plane, began flying in 1972. Airbus quit building them in 2007 after making a total of 816 A300 and A310s. The model was retired from U.S. passenger service in 2009.
Wednesday's crash came nearly three years after another UPS cargo plane crashed in the United Arab Emirates, just outside Dubai. Both pilots were killed.
Authorities there blamed the Sept. 3, 2010, crash on the jet's load of 80,000 to 90,000 lithium batteries, which are sensitive to temperature. Investigators determined that a fire probably began in the cargo containing the batteries.
The crash in Birmingham scattered cargo throughout the field where the plane landed. UPS spokesman Mike Mangeot said in an email that the company was reaching out to customers who had packages on the flight to address claims. He said the company was providing round-the-clock support to the families of the two crew members.
Associated Press writers Becky Yonker and Bruce Schreiner in Louisville, Ky.; Jeff Martin in Atlanta; and Josh Freed in Minneapolis contributed to this report.
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