VIDEO: National Air Cargo Boeing 747 on takeoff with a high pitch rolls to the left, corrects, yaws to the right, and then rolls to the right and crashes.
A civilian cargo aircraft crashed at Bagram Air Field near the Afghan capital Kabul on Monday, killing all seven people aboard. The plane came down shortly after take-off and crashed within the boundaries of the US-run airbase, a NATO spokesperson at the base said. The Taliban quickly claimed responsibility for the crash, but the coalition dismissed the claim as “false” in a statement to AP. The cause of the crash is being investigated by emergency crews, but no sign of insurgent activity in the area was spotted at the time, the statement added.
The cargo flight was destined for Dubai World Central – Al Maktoum International Airport, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The cause of the crash is being investigated by authorities. Investigators are considering the possibility of load shift of the cargo inside the aircraft, which may have caused unpredictable behavior of the aircraft and instability during takeoff. Radio communications from the flight crew indicated accidental load shift on takeoff.
The initial roll to the left could be consistent with the cargo becoming unattached and sliding to the left side (port side) of the aircraft — causing the left side of the aircraft and left wing to be heavy.
The United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will lead a team to assist the Afghanistan Ministry of Transportation and Commercial Aviation in the investigation of a cargo plane crash.
National Air Cargo headquarters is in Orchard Park, New York.
Information Related to Flight NCR102
A National Airlines B747-400 cargo plane was involved in an accident at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan today.
At approximately 7 a.m. EST, National Flight NCR102 from Bagram to Dubai, UAE with seven crewmembers on board crashed on takeoff. None of the crew members survived. This was a purely cargo flight and no passengers were aboard. Cargo consisted of vehicles and routine general cargo.
“Safety is always our top priority at National Airlines,” said National Airlines President Glen Joerger. “This is a devastating loss for our family and we’ll work diligently with authorities to find the cause,” said Joerger. “Most importantly, our thoughts and prayers are with our crewmembers and their families.”
National will release additional information as it becomes available, in cooperation with government authorities. Our focus at this time is on the family members of those we’ve lost, and on assisting the NTSB and Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority in their investigations. As of now, the cause of the accident is unknown.
For more information, please send an email to publicrelationsATnationalairlines.aero.
The National Airlines Family Information Call Center has been activated to support any family members requiring information.
The National Airlines Family Information Call Center number is
National Flight N8-102 was en route to Dubai from the main British military base in Afghanistan Camp Bastian and had stopped to refuel at Bagram Air Base. The cargo contained within the aircraft was properly loaded and secured, and had passed all necessary inspections prior to departing Camp Bastian. The aircraft landed safely and uneventfully in Bagram. No additional cargo or personnel was added during the stop in Bagram, and the aircraft’s cargo was again inspected prior to departure. The cargo flight N8-102 crew were heard on VHF air-band frequency reporting that some of the load of five heavy military vehicles weighing more than 70 tons in the cargo hold had shifted and the National Air Cargo Boeing 747-400 stalled. National Air Cargo Boeing 747-400 crashed and erupted into flames on impact. The crash site was near the end of the 11,000 ft long runway 03 within the perimeter of the Bagram airfield. 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.
The loadmaster performs the calculations and plans cargo placement to keep the aircraft within permissible center of gravity limits throughout the flight. Loadmaster ensure cargo is placed on the aircraft in such a way as to prevent overloading sensitive sections of the airframe and cargo floor.
The loadmaster primarily supervises loading crews and procedures and once the cargo is positioned aboard the aircraft, the loadmaster ensures the cargo is secured against movement. Chains, straps, and integrated cargo locks are among the most common tools used to secure the cargo. Because cargo may shift during abrupt maneuvers, the loadmaster must determine the appropriate amount and placement of cargo restraint.
There are many things that could go wrong. If it was palletized, a lock could have failed. A chain holding the vehicle might of been weak and broke. Or a tiedown could have failed. There are many things that could have happened to cause the high nose pitch. Cargo shift is a high probability. Center of gravity on an aircraft is very important, especially on cargo planes. From the video it seems that the cargo load got loose and shifted back and caused the rapid nose high pitch. It was a very deep stall because the aircraft seem to be almost vertical in the rolling.
USAF prefer the C5 over the B747 in a tender for military freighters, for precisely STOL type operations we saw at Bagram, where a pilot wishes to gain maximum altitude before exiting the airbase perimeter, obviously to be above and beyond possible enemy fire.
But the “steep takeoff” has nothing to do with this accident. You use more power, perhaps stay at V2+10 for longer before accelerating… but in execution it is exactly the same as any other takeoff. Rotate and maintain speed. You do not get closer to stalling just because your nose is higher for goodness sake. Your climb pitch will be dictated by how much power is available. Doesn’t matter how steep the climb is, the important thing is speed, and that will be the same whether you’re doing a max power steep climb or a gentle derated climb. In either case, the aerodynamic experience of the aircraft is the SAME.
Similarly on August 11, 1997, a Fine Air DC-8 aircraft loaded with 45 tons of fabric, departed Miami International airport, just moments into its flight the DC-8 came tumbling down killing 5 people. The DC-8 upon takeoff became tail heavy, stalled and then crashed in a shopping area just several hundred feet from the runway. Investigators have recovered several cargo latches from the DC-8 and it has been reported that only one of the latches was in the locked position. This would indicate that the cargo on the DC-8 upon takeoff had shifted to the tail off the aircraft making it tail heavy producing an uncontrolled sharp nose up in the rolling.
During the takeoff roll from runway 25R at Frankfurt on October 11, 1983, Flying Tigers 747-200 had the similar load shift. The pallet/load of pipes used for nuclear power plant cooling systems shifted . The incident damaged the pressure dome/bulkhead, aft fuselage and the tails sections of the 747-200