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Civilian Cargo Boeing 744 Down at Bagram

Civilian contract to US Air Force AMC went down today at Bagram. Condolences to the familys and friends of the 8 crew-members aboard. According to the Aviation Herald, listeners on the frequency heard the aircraft report a shifting load as the aircraft aprupty pitched upward and stalled right after takeoff. ( 기타...

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airhash 46
A dear friend of mine was one of the pilots on board. Cant imagine what the family is going thru! he left behind a young son! Trying to muster up the courage to call!
Just call, dude. They need your support.
give yourself and them some time....whenever you are strong enough to be a strong back bone for them give them a call....If you live relatively close to the family it may mean more if you give them a few days for this all to settle in and then you can go visit them.
My condolences to you and his family
bentwing60 11
To watch the video to me is nothing short of horrific. I almost wish all the cameras in the world would go away, as a scene like this all but puts you there. The risks that aviators in general accept, and professionals, in particular, must consider, are part and parcel to what we want to do. The fact of the matter is that most think it won't happen to them, but when one considers the long thread of things, people, systems, weather, that must go right in order to accomplish a mission, the prudent aviator won't spend much time thinking it can't happen to them. I have lost a couple of friends to the business over the years, and it hits close to home. This does too. I didn't know the crew or the families, so my deepest condolences will have to suffice, but I can relate to the hole in the heart, the pain for the company, and sorrow felt by all involved.
For the crew..........

Flying West
I hope there's a place, way up in the sky,
Where pilots can go, when they have to die-
A place where a guy can go and buy a cold beer
For a friend and comrade, whose memory is dear;
A place where no doctor or lawyer can tread,
Nor management type would ere be caught dead;
Just a quaint little place, kinda dark and full of smoke,
Where they like to sing loud, and love a good joke;
The kind of place where a lady could go
And feel safe and protected, by the men she would know.

There must be a place where old pilots go,
When their paining is finished, and their airspeed gets low,
Where the whiskey is old, and the women are young,
And the songs about flying and dying are sung,
Where you'd see all the fellows who'd flown west before.
And they'd call out your name, as you came through the door;
Who would buy you a drink if your thirst should be bad,
And relate to the others, "He was quite a good lad!"

And then through the mist, you'd spot an old guy
You had not seen for years, though he taught you how to fly.
He'd nod his old head, and grin ear to ear,
And say, "Welcome, my son, I'm pleased that you're here.
"For this is the place where true flyers come,
"When the journey is over, and the war has been won
"They've come here to at last to be safe and alone
From the government clerk and the management clone,
"Politicians and lawyers, the Feds and the noise
Where the hours are happy, and these good ol'boys
"Can relax with a cool one, and a well-deserved rest;
"This is Heaven, my son -- you've passed your last test!"

Author: Capt. Michael J. Larkin
Dedicated to: Capt. E. Hamilton Lee

Thanks, this ones a keeper and my compliments to Capt. Larkin, where ever he may be.
2nd that.
Look at the video Wayne. At 21 seconds engine #1 is reverse flamed out. The Euro website will not let me post this fact which can bee seen easily.
Which Euro site? Got a link? Thanks.
Aviation Herald..
This is the statement I recieved from that website. If that engines was tampered with at Bagram we NEED to know. The "we" being the CIA. "you have totally overstepped it. You should have realized, that your comments
about the engine #1 in Bagram were total garbage and misleading, and were
removed because of that - you confused artefacts as result of mpeg conversion
and resizing ... If you don't know what you are talking about, you shouldn't
talk. Despite your comments being removed, you reposted and reposted and
reposted in violation of my houseright. If I remove a comment, it is clear
that such a comment is NOT permitted, end of story.W
That was subtle.
See my post below for the direct YOUTUBE LINK
This is a job for the CIA sparkie. I feel it in my gut.
Good catch on that, but at that time it could have been because of a compressor stall due to such a radical and rapid change in the way the air is entering the intake.
Sparkie624...I was thinking a "Compressor Stall", as well! But I really doubt that would bring the a/c down. My opinion is that the load shifted and they were at a angle of attack on take off and altitude was not in their favor, gear produced
drag and they didn't have room to recover. The 74-4 is an amazing aircraft! The whole 747 Fleet was and still is an amazing avionic accomplishment. God bless the crew!
I could be wrong, but my gut tells me it is something else... Something does not feel right for load shift. Can't put my finger on it... There is something that is not making sense... Somehow the Gear is a major clue. My basic Gut feeling is Pilot Error "Not pulling the gear up, marginal airspeed, minor wind shift/shear, Stall (unrecoverable)". I do not think the load shifted, and I feel that the engine compressor stalled as a result of the rapidly changing angle of attack.
For what it's worth, I kinda feel the same way. I'm just talking but it would seem if it was a load shift that he would have never got it back at all, which it seems that he did; he just ran outa sky. The report will be interesting.
the real report will be interesting....the report we will get will be "PILOT ERROR"-pilots failure to maintain adequate airspeed during max performance take-off...contributing factors-shifting winds due to storms in vicinty of departure airport and improper loading.
You're probably right. I'm still bothered by that gear though. Malfunction or just flatly didn't pull the handle? Me and a friend of mine up here in town(he is a retired PanAm 747 driver) watched that video too and that was the 1st thing he saw. If we get the actual, it will be real interesting to see what the CVR and FDR have to say.
Mike Mohle 11
Wow. Bad Deal. Load shift aft leading to a stall? Good thing this got on vid to aid the investigation.
Wow,this 747-400 sat at KFAT for about 10 days recently. I started tracking it here on Flightaware wondering where it was flying to and from. Its done a lot of flying in the last 15 days..!! Thoughts and prayers to the families of those killed in the accident.
Avi8r747 8
Just saw the video on live leak, and it is gut wrenching to watch. My deepest condolences... Words can not express enough
ace005 7
RIP to everyone who was lost. I saw a National Cargo 747 at NAS North Island (KNZY, near SAN) and I admired how nice the livery looked. Sad to see one end like this.
Unbelievable video of this tragic crash. Saw this bird parked at GSP for a day or two not too long ago which makes it even more chilling. Thoughts and prayers with the crew and families.
How very sad. Our deepest sympathy to all the families they left behind.
My thoughts and prayers are with the friends and loved ones of the National Air Cargo crew members.

It truly is horrifying. Our local station broadcast this with a warning before. And, you can feel your gut clinch up in advance. They didn't show the entire beginning. But, here online it does seem to be a cargo shift. You see the pitch up, stall, and loss of control.

I have flown on cargo aircraft, and that is often the one thing that passes through your mind on takeoff. I flew on a major U.S. carrier where I felt confident with their loading procedures. But, with the 1997 Fine Air crash in Miami, a grisly accident like this really chills the blood.

Even more chillingly, this from an interview with Glenn Stockdale, a relative of one of the crew members: "He always said it was dangerous. He would always say 'you either will die in a car crash or a ball of flame in a plane.'"
garp 5
Prayers to the families and friends of the crew. That video is one of the most heartbreaking things I've watched in a while.
RIP to the crew.
Now.....let's get to the bottom of this crash...for the sake of those that are locked under and near all take off plates and glide paths.
This is the best analysis I've read so far. Combining this with the weight shift aft, we have a good idea of what happened. It will be interesting to see what the NTSB finds.

As much as I love aviation and as huge of an event this incident is, I hope they don't release the CVR tapes. That would be hard to listen to..
sparkie624 -1
I also heard that there could be some issues with weather that could have caused it... You would have though that the stall warning would have advised them of what was happening in time for recovery. With that steep angle, and I am sure boarder line speed, an nice wind shear would have been all that would have taken.

[This poster has been suspended.]

No one knows for sure and anything right now is just rumors... I was pointing out that in one article they were pointing to weather. Just trying to show another view. Until the NTSB releases their findings, we are only armchair guessers.
There are reports that the loadmaster called out on VHF that the load shifted. Another factor may be the typical departure pattern out of Bagram is to get as high as possible before leaving the relative safety of the base's airspace.

But I agree that until the NTSB releases their findings, we're just armchair investigators.
I once as a company rep a long time ago got to participate in a crash investigation. over 50 people died. There were a lot of stories going around, people heard this, other heard that. There is more than one side of the story. All of the rumors that came out, were not even close to what the NTSB proved with the CVR and FDR.

I posted from a news article that stated that weather was a contributing factor for it... Not sure why I was given a negative for pointing out another possibility. Not saying that it was weather, or load shift, but looking at it from an investigation point of view, why would the Load Master be on the VHF in the first place.. Maybe on the interphone, but no one on the ground would have heard that. Being a trained part 121 Mechanic for over 24 years, and licensed mechanic for over 28 years and specialties in avionics and electrical systems I have problems seeing how he got on the VHF in the first place. From that short time span by noting the video for him to have known that the load had shifted he would have visually seen that. In that short of time how did he get to the cockpit to make this transmission. With a climb like that he would have been running up hill. In take off config he should have been seat belted in. At that point at very best he was making an assumption. Again, there are a lot of options that could have been.

Just by watching the video a few things stand out from an observation:
1.) His gear was still down, not even broken over in retract operations.
2.) Note the heavy clouds looming over.
3.) Where he had a very steep angle of attack, probably boarder line stall a small wind shear could have played a role in it. Note in the video at time frame 0:55 the smoke is all going straight up with little to no wind resistance and then at the top is moving in one direction and at 1:03 you can see it even more pronounced with the wind. At 2:33 you can see a complete wind shift in smoke even effecting the ground level. The winds were definitely moving around and at borderline stall speeds could have played a heavy load.

If you watch the full video direct on You Tube "" and go full screen you can see a lot more details.

I hope the NTSB investigation is short on this one. I do not feel that this is a problem with the plane its self, I feel ultimately it will be blamed either on Pilot Error or the Load Master if the load actually shifted. Maybe he did not tighten down the strap as he should have, or maybe he loaded the plane incorrectly... Too many options out three to say really what happened.

Just my opinion.
While you can never rule out weather at the beginning the NTSB will have to look at the recorders to rule out weather or Pilot error. While it is possible they were climbing steeply to avoid possible ground fire it is my understanding that these two pilots were experienced in flying in and out this base.

One fact you point out that the gear is still in the down and locked position says that something horrible went wrong almost immediately after clime out commenced for gear up is the first thing to happen once positive rate of climb is established.

I'm thinking a mechanical problem occurred that they were too low to overcome or a load shift. It would be rare for a load shift but it does happen.

By the way I'm an Air Force trained Aircraft Repair and reclamation Specialist we worked on all flight controls and gear problems. Fortunately I never used the reclamation portion of my specialty.
From your statement " Fortunately I never used the reclamation portion of my specialty.", I have had the UN-fortunate task of having to deal with that. I am not going to recap that part of it, but it is not a pretty picture to paint. I have noticed that many times what appears early on as a cause is no where near the problem. It could have been as simple as he thought the gear up and things go so busy they simply forgot... A previous airline that I worked for to remain nameless flew an entire flight leg gear down, and never noticed... (don't ask me how he never noticed the 3 green and not making as good of airspeed as he should have) but things happen and more than not it is crew error. If the pilot flying had thought the gear was up, even called for it being up flying the numbers he was expecting, the gear could have caused the stall. Again... Until the NTSB figures things out and gets the CVR/DFDR analyzed and sync'd up we will not know for sure. I could be dead wrong, but I am not confident that the load shifted.

One thing I have noticed, is that many times an experienced crew will make some of the dumbest mistakes. Working Maintenance control I had to file a report of an aborted take off. F/O flying, Captain called rotate, and the FO in LALA land did not hear him and thus the captain aborted take off because he suspected flight control issues. The takeoff was aborted at 140KTS. Official reason given by the captain "Cockpit Communications". I told him that I was glad he had a long runway... He said "ME TOO!"
Oh nooo! I watched a 74-400 fly out of sight and the longest climb...with the gear down. Kept watching because I just knew they were going to figure out the gear was down but nope.
Wow an entire trip with the gear down. I guess the warning horn didn't bother him either.
Warning horn is only on with the FLAPS > 15 and throttle below a certain level... I guess the manufactures are more concerned with gear up landings than gear down flights.
Gear up with flaps greater than 20 you get the horn
So does the departure procedure at Bagram call for an early left turn or is that the first stall-induced wing drop (followed by a boot full of right rudder)? I'll be surprised if this isn't a load shift case given the rate of deceleration to zero forward airspeed. The aircraft just keeps pitching up until it falls.
I don't have the plate handy, but I glanced at it earlier in the week. I think both approach and departure are pretty much straight in/out, steep in and out due to possible enemy fire. I think that left wing dip is the beginning of it all. Bootful of right rudder is an understatement; he was almost knife edge there for a minute. What is sad though, after all that, the crash was pancake flat, indicating he had recovered some from whatever the problem was, just ran out of air.
I may seem ignoreant, but at that point, it coming out flat, would the tail still tend down if the load had shifted to take the CG aft?
If indeed the pitch control was lost after rotation and initial climb, that would be a major distraction, that would explain the gear was still down, and the crew was trying to control the airplane in pitch. And yes I did consider a strong microburst which could give good climb performance in the beginning and strong downdrafts followed by strong tailwind...but I still think of the high possibility of total loss of elevator control and the crew had NO options left whatsoever. My heart goes out for the crew and the families. The NTSB team will give us their best analysis in the months ahead. I am assuming the loadmaster did his / her job and the crew was at its peak performance. Sometimes the aircraft fails and the timing of the failure is critical to survival.
Has anyone mentioned the possibility of runaway elevator and / or jammed elevator actuator?
It was mentioned earlier. Keep in mind the elevators have (I believe) 3 actuators each and are independent. Both would have had to jam. As for the runaway trim, anything is possible, but there are 2 systems for that as well...

That close to the ground, I doubt that had much time to consult the QRH...
I doubt it was incorrect loading as National's statement said this was an intermediate stop for fuel. Incorrect loading would have been seen at origin. The others are all good possibilities. There is also the possibilty of a gear problem. At that AOA, on a steep takeoff like that, he should have been trying to clean up fast and gear should have been up or going up. He would have been close to coffin corner in the best of conditions. The investigation will be interesting, and I hope fairly swift.
Funny thing about tie-down straps and chains; they break at the worst possible times not always on the first tensioning or pulling. We are all guessing what happened. Hopefully they were all too busy trying to recover to know what hit them. The rest is up to Boeing and the NTSB.
This aircraft arrived into Bagram from France and was departing for Dubai, therefore was obviously not a fuel stop. They were carrying 5 Mrap vehicles onboard. This was not a fuel stop.
There was a National Statement put out a few days ago that was posted here. I couldn't find it just now but they did say that it was a fuel stop; there was another post on here somewhere that pretty much confirmed it due to routing around Iran. Past that, idk.
Preacher, I believe you but I can insure you 100% probability that this was not just a fuel stop. Did they take fuel on? You bet they did, but they also picked up the cargo to fly out of there. I have flown these same trips many times with the same cargo. The statements issued are often inaccurate and vague at best, trust me on this.
They also said Cargo and Plane were inspected and were OK
I am sure NTSB will be looking at maintenance records to see if there were any squawks with elevator actuators or pitch system. A jammed elevator right after takeoff could have been a major distraction. The gears and the weight and balance could have been OK. Remember this is a contracted B747.
I would concur Preach, if the gear handle wasn't in the up position I would be very surprised. Always thought of the coffin corner as the high altitude regime where aerodynamic stall and MMO were close together though.
Well, it is but it was just convenient.LOL. Most wouldn't know the difference anyway. Not so bad on stuff these days but on some of the older military stuff, that speed was right there to balance. One of the early NG test pilots first coined that phrase, I think, and I'm not sure about the newer models but it was a big thing on the early U-2's
You know...we can all be "Arm Chair Quarterbacks"...trying to figure out what the hell happened...and we can discuss it until we are blue in the face! Commercial pilots will say this...military will say that...the weather channel will say another and the student pilot will put their 2 cents in. Doesn't make any one feel better about the outcome. I understand the forum! I respect it but it feels like some people are trying to be the one that is right. We lost brave Americans...beit from weight & balance, weather, hostle fire or mechanical malfunction. The cause will prevail, in time. Personally, I would like to focus on our fallen Americans...whether it be on the battle field or in a "Air Support" situation. God bless them all and thank you for your sacrifice for our freedom. R.I.P.
......bad feeling in stomach........R.I.P..................
There was nothing they could do....
I know.....that's why I feel so bad......they knew it to.......
Yeah...I am no pilot...but wow - the terror that must have been in their minds. Terrible. I pray for their families.
Blessings, thoughts, and prayers to our fallen crewmembers and their precious families, friends, and loved ones. We ask for strength and understanding and peace.
I was based at BAF/Bagram for nearly a year.We used to park next to the National 74's on the ramp. Most likely a large CG shift. Horrific video. God's speed to those families.
It's tough, always tough, but we go on as those lost would want us to.James Stewart is right when he say "Call dude". We are all hurting right now. May they rest in peace.
An unbelievable catch on video...
Que desafortunada situación. Mis condolencias a los familiares.
mrippe 2
first and most importantly,
heartfelt condolences to the families and friends.

i am flying blind here. using only the video and my own experiences
but to me, this is the only way any of this makes sense
i will be watching for the results of the investigation.
here goes;
the placement of the camera and its focal point makes it difficult
to determine whether the tail had dropped or if the aircraft was in stand on your tail, climbout
i settled on an outboard engine failure.
the aircraft is doing a stand on your tail climbout
this puts it on the raggidy edge of everything aerodynamic
aoa is very high
outboard engine fails
asymetrical thrust causes a violent yaw toward the bad engine.
fuselage masking blocks airflow over the dead engine wing
lift vanishes and the wing stops flying and drops
the aircraft rolls toward the non flying dead engine wing.
bank angle is near 90 degrees
aircraft is now doing a sideslip and rapidly losing altitude
both inboard engines firewalled
outboard working engine brought to idle
crew manages to level out but altitude is too low, airspeed too low and the aircraft pancakes
if this was a load shift, the aircraft would have come down tail first
the cg would have been aft and the crew would never have been able to lower the nose
as they were able to do just prior to impact

why was a civilian crew flying a civilian aircraft in a combat zone?
aircraft have been shot at arriving and departing.
a c-17 would have been a better choice for this mission
it has (reasonably) good short field capability.
stand on your tail climbout is a part of the spec
why was the gear stll down. in a stand on your tail, you want the airframe as clean as possible
sop is to get the gear up as soon as the wheels leave the ground.
civilian crews do not fly their airplanes this way
when the crew got their briefing prior to departure, were they given a heads up?
Sorry, but there are no stand on you tail departures in a heavily loaded 747. They might do a v2 climb to 1000 to 3000agl at best. Pitch attitude would be around 15 degrees at the weight they would have been at. The aircraft would react the way it did in a deep stall situation regardless of cg
very sad indeed....thoughts and prayers to all impacted/affected by this terrible tragedy.
Wow....just wow
airhash 2
Can't bring myself to click on the video link. This one hits really close to home!
it's pretty terrible...don't do it until you can handle it....kinda chocked me up a lil.
Please do not view the video. Sadly I have witnessed crashes with loss of life and no matter how "together" you think you are, you're not. Your friends may be good source of comfort, consider reaching out to them. Feel so bad for you and the others.
Look at the video at 21 secs in. Engine #1 flames out.
I have some photos of some of their 744's at KGSP bringing parts in for BMW. Have to check the tail #'s
Brian - this is the same tail # of national's 744 that recently visited GSP. I snapped some pics of it too.
Is this the one that sat around for like a week at a time about two or so months ago? I mean, your sure its the same ship #? I have to ask seeing as I honestly can't remember the tail # off that thing. Just remember it taking up ramp space for seemingly ages and everyone few days someone would move it from one end of the airport down to the other.
Oh, NVM. This is the one that was hanging out back in Feb, Gotcha. I was almost sure I'd seen more than one paint job on a 747 sitting out there.
Very sad and very very scary to see a plane falling from the sky and the cause is the shift load.
Pilots tried to save the plane and their lives but the shift load was continuous and could not bear to balance the aircraft.
Load shifting and parallel stall brought this tragic outcome.Unlikely to be stopped all four engines at full operating in the take off procedure unless there was load shifting,the two turbines stopped and the airplane eventually could not get the minimum take off height.
There is also the case occurred and these two events in parallel.No other cause exists except a third version, stop working everything on the plane during the critical phase of take-off due to the overall loss of electricity.
Antonios Michalopoulos
Athens - Hellas (Greece)
Awful, awful event. Caught on video to boot. Reminds me of the FedEx MD-11 accident at Narita a few years ago. Heartfelt condolences to families and friends of all who lost their lives.
It makes me kind of sick to watch.
99NY 2
Simply terrifying to watch such an enormous aircraft just fall out of the sky like that.
dg1941 2
It's a shame that things like this happen, and the big thing about this one is, there really is nobody to blame. It quite obviously wasn't sabotage, and it wasn't pilot error, and I don't want to bash on the loadmaster because we don't know if it was his fault. Either way, this was a helpless situation on the part of the crew, it's not like the loadmaster would have had time to do something like drive the load back forward. This could be as simple as some loose/unsecured straps and a large load shifting because of that.
I agree. This could very well be none of the things discussed such as incorrect weight and balance, landing gear problem, microburst, or pilot error. If the pilot lost pitch control like runaway elevator and followed by a jammed elevator right after rotation and thereafter this scenario may happen. I am sure the maintenance records will be checked.
I can agree with most of it, but I think it is too early to rule out Pilot Error. Will have to wait for the CVR/DFDR read outs. I hope it is not ruled pilot error.
Engine #1 failed the video at 21 seconds in.
My son was on the flightline when that happened. Very very sad.
dee9bee 2
At the risk of being insensitive, this thread was from 5 1/2 years ago.
why does the timestamp of the video say 2013-02-01??
Improper settings?
I noticed that too and have not seen any explanation. Let the conspiracy theorists have a field day with that one.
Recorders in vehicles do not have constant power, and the date stamp is fairly random. I looked at the data file and it does not have any "fingerprints" to indicate it has been doctored. A horrific crash.

My sympathy to the families and friends.
Video of crash has been added on the link - Chilling stuff.
Very sad event, RIP to all lost and condolences to the families.
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

VIDEO: National Air Cargo 747 Crashes at Bagram, Afghanistan

A dash cam captures the final moments of the National Air Cargo 747 before crashing just after takeoff.
that sounds like loadmaster screwup!!
My heart goes out to the one that videotaped that, and has to live with those images for the rest of his/her life.
Sincere condolences to the families and may the deceased rest in peace. Blue skies.
Bagram needs to review security. Engine #1 may have been sabotaged. Engine #1 has failed as evidenced by careful examination of the video. It has flamed out and is ejecting unburnt fuel from the intake fan.
Interesting point as the Taliban announced responsibility but that news story was not followed.
Scares the shit outta me. Number 1 is definitely ejecting unburned fuel out of the intake fan.
Scares me that people do know what happened and thisstoy is going away quietly as billions in cash are handed in suitcases to the government there.
People have forgotten that the only reason we went in there in the 1st place was in pursuit of Bin Laden. We got sidetracked when Bush's ego made him want to avenge Daddy in Iraq. Peronally, bring 'em all home and let those folks continue to fight and kill each other as they will do when we leave anyway and instead of sending all that borrowed money overseas, let's at least spend it on the hungry and homeless here first. Had to get that off my chest. Miss Elizabeth, I guess it just stuck a nerve but you are so correct!
Sad part is the fact that freight dawgs are just doing their job and in this case their families probably don't have the financial support. Expendable is the word.
I don't accept that at all. I do not believe this crew made an error. I do believe this was an accident that was caused through terrorism. If the guys are not covered under an insurance specificaly tailored to the carriage of ordnance than the Senate should step in. If it is proven that the airport had bad security the DoD should pay up.
There has been very little talk about an engine, as far as it being seen. If we ever see a true report, it will be interesting, if not whitewashed. With this video, multiple witnesses, and recovery of both boxes, it should be fairly easy to determine. Engine or not, I am still bothered by the fact that the gear wasn't up or at least in a breaking mode going up. That is normally 1st thing done after liftoff, cleaning up the plane. That is a whole lot of drag on a normal takeoff, let alone a max climb, and then if he did lose an engine, it would have really added to the problem. Sad part was that as he pancaked on landing, he must have regained some control but just ran out of sky.
This is exactly my concern Wayne...if engines #1 and #2 had been subject to malintent..sabotage..they would have been busy trying to work out what the F was going on. I have a gut feeling that something is not right here..these guys were not Sunday drivers. The equipment failed. Because this was the civilian sector of DoD contract work we got to find out it happened. If something happened because the security at Bagram failed it could well be that the findings will be classified.
Reminiscent of the stretch 8 that went down after lifting off in Florida several years ago. Someone then neglected to secure one or more of the pallets and they shifted to the rear on pull-up. The video of the 747 would suggest the same. No fault of the pilot. Look to the loadmaster.
My bet is cargo shift.
God bless all.
Clarence, unfortunately, the "Load-Master" went down with the a/c.
Prayers for the families of those involved. So heart breaking..
The load master, the load manifest, and the tie down locks will give you the cause of this accident. The guys that loaded that aircraft will have to show the investigators EXACTLY how the aircraft was loaded.
Such a tragic accident, especially if the load shift caused the stall and eventual downing of the AC. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the family's involved may God give you the strength to get through this painfull loss.
Very tough to watch. My heart goes out to everyone affected by this tragedy.
airhash...I believe your dear friend would want you to be there for his family. Put your personal feelings aside and be strong for your "dear friends" family. You may be the one who he would want to comfort his family! Words don't need to be said...just your presence would give unbelievable comfort, in this time of need. God bless you, the family and your "fallen" friend.
Hello to you does not fly with us! We'll always think of you in the air. We'll see you again sometime. Good cheer to those left behind
Just saw the video of the crash. Very awful and tragic. I wish the best for their families and love ones.
I've always imagined what something like this would actually look like. Now I know. RIP to the crew, such a sad thing to watch.
Of course we want to express our deep grief... One site I know does not let us do that. Thank you to the web master of this site allowing us free expression of both our thoughts and our deep hurt.
Just surreal how the aircraft just falls out of the sky.

I saw an RAF Vulcan do that back in the day and i hope I never saw that again. Scary.
The USAF also lost a MC-12 on 4/28.....4 dead
thoughts and prayers for them and their families as well....Thank you for your service, courage, sacrifice and dedication to our wonderful country.
USAF also lost a MC-12 on 4/28/2013
So many doing their jobs.
fundiks 1
That is so sad, condolances to the families of the 8 onboard. When we all at work saw that video the first thoughts was, it was a load shift. Locks not up and secured or cargo nets and straps failed. It doesn't take much weight in a load shift to mess up the dynamics of an aircrafts lift. This plane was carrying some super heavy equipment. This is a prime example of why shortcuts and complacency have no place around aircraft of any type.
What about a runaway elevator followed by elevator jam right after rotation. Even with positive climb the pilot may be so distracted that gears up would not be requested. At the critical stage flying the airplane is the most important work at hand. I do not believe the load master screwed up or the heavy loads shifted although it could happen.
Gary, just because there was a load shift doesn't mean he screwed up. There could have been a failure of the straps or the pallet locks however unlikely but...the elevator can not runaway on the 747. The stab could but there are shutoff switches that are just below the flap handle to stop that. Load shift is undoubtedly what happened here and will not be difficult to determine when the recorders are studied
One thing that is for sure, it STALLED and fell out of the sky and crashed. The 64$ question is WHY and there have been many viable "what ifs" offered here. The NTSB report will be interesting.
I'm no expert but it looks like a classic stall. Whether power was lost or the AOA was too high, the NTSB hopefully will find out from the CVR and FDR.
National Air Cargo confirmed their aircraft N949CA with 7 crew, 4 pilots, 2 mechanics and a load master – initial information had been 8 crew – crashed at Bagram.According to a listener on frequency the crew reported the aircraft stalled due to a possible load shift.

All seven crew – Jamie Brokaw, pilot, Monroe, MI, Brad Hasler, pilot, Trenton, MI, Jeremy Lipka, pilot, Brooklyn, MI, Rinku Summan, pilot, Canton, MI, Michael Sheets, loadmaster, Ypsilanti, MI, Gary Stockdale, mechanic, Romulus, MI, Timothy Garrett, mechanic, Louisville, KY were killed on impact.
lemr55 1
My condolences to all familys.
God bless the whole crew and family and NAC for there loss.
Any one consider malfunction of the electric trim?
Runaway trim is a possibility.
That is possible though since I believe the pilots almost regained control I am thinking more towards a load shift. With a runaway trim I do not believe they would have been able to level the wings and get the nose down, though I could be wrong. In any case I think that will be high on the list of things the NTSB and Boeing will be looking at.

Hopefully the data and cockpit recorders are salvaged and usable. If so they will be key in determining what happened.
Yes. That is a high possibility right after rotation and during initial climb. Runaway elevator followed by a full elevator jam. In that case there is no chance of recovery especially when the aircraft is close to max takeoff weight and cg envelope is critical. If I remember from B747 type rating course the elevators may be split in a one side elevator jam. This explains why the aircraft is at high pitch up until a stall happened. The crew finally may have recovered one side of the elevators and the airplane dived with a differential roll to left side. This is a tragedy. There would be no hope of survival in this case. I am sure maintenance records will shed some light through NTSB investigation.
It would have to have 2 separate and individual trim systems. Guess anything is possible.
From what the video shows I suspect the load shift. It also looked like the pilots almost pulled it out. If they had a few thousand or even another thousand feet they may have pulled of a miracle. As it appeared just before it crashed that the pilots were recovering from the stall.

My condolences to the families and friends of the crew and fellow employees of Nation airlines.
I am not going to rule out the load shift.... But other than a VHF Message heard from a person that could not have been on the radio what else leads us to that, and again, I ask... If he was climbing out like that, why had he not commended his gear up??? Not even broken over for the retract cycle.
Personally I doubt a gear problem and professionals don't just stall the aircraft on takeoff. If the load shifted aft following rotate, the gear would be the last thing on the pilots mind. He would be pushing hard to avoid the stall and attempting to stay straight with rudder. The aicraft's direction keeps changing with rudder, but I don't think they controlled the pitch at all after the right wing dropped. The horizontal stab helps lower the nose during the fall, but by then they were essentially vertical with little or no forward airspeed for the elevators to have any effect.
His gear should have been started up before the load shift, so I have problems buying that part of it. As for the left wing dropping, with Engine Torque that is the direction I would have expected it to roll first during a stall due to direction of engine flow. Those are big fans out there producing a lot of power and torque (even though many will say a jet engine does not produce torque).
Yazoo 1
So sad. My sympathies to all to the families and friends for lost loved ones. If it was a load shift (which I too believe) what an incredibly helpless feeling for the crew.
Our sincere condolences to the families of the victims, I'm sure from all over the Greek people.
My support and to pray for those people who left the mundane !
7 candles these holy days of the Greek Orthodox Easter for every person of any religion and ethnicity for this tragic incident.
There are no other words........only silence.
Antonios Michalopoulos
Athens - Hellas (Greece)
I was told about it and watched it on my phone at lunch. I yelled expletives out loud and was told to "watch my language" by the server. That's how caught off guard I was before I really knew what I was watching. My sincere condolences to the families of the people on board. At least you can be comforted (hopefully) by knowing that the PF was doing everything by the book for a stall recovery. (I watched the video a few more times to wrap my head around it) They were fighting until the end. May they RIP!
My thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and families of the air crew lost in this horrific crash.
I find the audio on the recording to be highly suspicious.

Who was this person? Was he EXPECTING to see a crash?

I have seen many crash videos. Never once have I observed anyone watching and recording an event like this without making any comment, uttering curse words, or reacting verbally in any way. The first word he uttered was a curse word, but it was after he parked for the first time and apparently could not get the crash site into camera view.
I have seen only one other plane crash. It was an SR-71 that ran out of fuel one-half mile from the end of the runway. Since the SR-71 rarely landed in midday it was a rare event and all eyes were on it. At first everyone thought the pilot was hot dogging for us, that is until the crew bailed out. Then everyone became quiet when it was realized that the plane was going to crash and the crew was in danger because of a low level bailout. From that point until the plane hit the ground and the sound actually hit us no one said a word. So I am not surprised that their is nothing on the video until after the plane crashed. The realization is shocking.
Yes, everything goes into slow motion and you can't believe what you are seeing.
Did you hear the dog? It was talking more than the driver.
If he transmitted a signal, it would have been recorded by ATC.
It is obvious that 747 stalled due to low speed as a result of very high AoA.Low altitude did not give the chance for recovery.
By no means a military aircraft specialist, but is civilian built/designed aircraft the best plane to transport heavy military vehicles? Would a C117/141/130 handle a load shift like the one this aircraft had?
My deepest sympathy to families and friends of the crew.
SootBox 3
Cargo is cargo. What is heavier, a pound of feathers or a pound of Hummers? Exactly.
I would imagine that once the load is aft the CG it doesn't matter what type of plane it is....the result is going to be the same
Unless the thrust/weight ratio is above 1
to get into that range wouldn't you pretty much have to be in a fighter jet?.....if the load did shift in this plane that ratio would have been pretty much useless to them....they didn't have enough altitude to do anything.
Agreed, just getting technical on ya
Jason Rhew -1
Holy shit
If this were a cargo failure, with tons of unsecured military vehicle weight sliding toward the tail, wouldn't the aircraft, at near zero forward velocity, initiate a tail-first plummet?

[This poster has been suspended.]

You missed the point. If critical angle of attack is reached, and all the cargo has slid aft, at ~0kts, the 747 now basically hanging in the air at substantial nose-up angle with no or minimal forward velocity, wouldn't it just drop tail-first?
Every power on stall I did (a few and only in a 152), the nose came down eventually...
Because you had a C.G. in the envelope. As for the cause of this accident, I say nothing.
Can't see the reply here. Whenever I get the email notice that a poster has commented and click the page link, only the original post appears, nothing else. Happens every time. I can see all the replies to other posts. Just not this.
you have to listen very closely but you can hear the engines spool up around the time the jet pivoted on it's tail...around that time they probably pulled the engines back, introduced left rudder and pushed the nose down in an effort to try to gain some airspeed.....With that being said I am only trying to take a stab at something that is going to have to be answered by the professionals.
Nope, it would do just what you saw in the video
Tom Bruce -9
Look at the high rate of climb... trying too hard to get "up high" and away from the bad guys??
Ryan Hales 10
The only problem with that theory is the landing gear is still extended. I'm thinking a "positive rate, gear up" call was not made because they had the load shift at rotation and were too busy dealing with that.
To me it looks like they are trying to re-extend the gear, having already brought it up after rotation.
Well, the high rate of climb out of there was standard, as is a fairly steep approach, simply in order to gain altitude while basically still over base property, and get out of stinger range, which is about 10grand. As I said below, I would have thought the gear should have already been up, which could indicate a gear problem or the gear call not made, as you say, for whatever reason. At that AOA, they would be so close to coffin corner it wouldn't have taken much to upset the applecart anyway. Hopefully, the FDR and VCR can be recovered and at least a preliminary report comes out pretty quick.
Looks like a classic stall on takeoff...I wonder if there could have been any sabotage involved?
I doubt sabotage was involved, Civilian ran cargo plane, The load master of the aircraft probably failed to conduct his take-off checklist properly.
Eisenman, shame on you.
Why shame on him??? It could be one of quite a few causes...
RIP to the crew.
I'm sorry but being retired military. I have seen and dealt with people who have gaffed records and inspection to save time. I hate to say it but even when it's your life on the line, people still take short-cuts.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Tighten the tinfoil hat, kiddies... we're in for a rough ride...

Seriously??? SERIOUSLY???
I remember back in the 80's there was a big game arcade in Elizabeth NJ, near EWR. People playing Pacman and Qbert, these games had a joystick, were causing uncommanded control movements in airliners flying over!!!
Source? And please don't say "Ancient Aliens"...
80'S aliens
Thanks - I'll be pitching that to AMC. Patent Pending!

[This poster has been suspended.]

the storm was NE of the field moving to the NE
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

National Air Cargo 747 Jet Crashes In Afghanistan, Killing 8

A 747-400 cargo jet crashed this afternoon shortly after taking off from Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.
biz jets -2
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

National B747-400 fatal crash N949CA Bangram April 29 2013

A National Air Cargo Boeing 747-400 freighter on behalf of US Mobility Command, registration N949CA performing cargo flight N8-102 from Bagram (Afghanistan) to Dubai Al Maktoum (United Arab Emirates) with 8 crew, has crashed shortly after takeoff from Bagram Air Base's runway 03 at 15:30L (11:00Z) and erupted into flames near the end of the runway with the perimeter of the Air Base. All 8 crew are reported perished in the crash.
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

747-400 crash at Bagram caught on dash-cam

It stalled in the air. Listen to the engines run up trying to keep it airborn.
John Rumpf -1
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

747 Cargo plane crash

A 747 was just taking off out of Afghanistan, stalled and then later crashed into a smaller air field. The crew of 3 were all killed.
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Video: B747 Crash Bagram Airfield

A National Air Cargo Boeing 747-400 freighter on behalf of US Mobility Command, registration N949CA performing cargo flight N8-102 from Bagram (Afghanistan) to Dubai Al Maktoum (United Arab Emirates) with 7 crew and cargo consisting of 5 military vehicles, has crashed shortly after takeoff from Bagram Air Base's runway 03 at 15:30L (11:00Z) and erupted into flames near the end of the runway within the perimeter of the Air Base. All 7 crew are reported perished in the crash.
grahammj -1
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

A civilian cargo plane crash at Bagram Air Field north of Kabul in Afghanistan has killed seven people.

Airplane going almost straight up in the air, then starts to stall and crashes into the ground.
If what is being said is correct,WHY was'nt the planes cargo secured properly? then the families of the 8 crew members woul'nt have to mourn the death's of their loved one's through someone's imcompendance in not checking if the load is secure.
Ever heard of a strap breaking? Ever heard of a simple accident? How about we not demand heads on flaming pikes at this point and wait for the investigation.
Unfortunately stuff does happen, and generally does at the most inopportune time. Ever hear of Murphy's Law?
At this point, everything is speculation. Please don't conclude that any one action or inaction is accountable.


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