Aviation News

April 30, 2013

VIDEO: National Air Cargo 747 Crashes at Bagram, Afghanistan

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By: Jason Rabinowitz
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The crash site of a National Air Cargo 747 (Credit: Albert Ramirez, Twitter)
The crash site of a National Air Cargo 747 (Credit: Albert Ramirez, Twitter)
On Monday morning, a National Air Cargo Boeing 747-400 N949CA, operated on behalf of US Mobility Command, has crashed just after takeoff from Bagram Air Base with 7 crew members on board.

The following is a dashcam video showing the full crash. You can see the aircraft’s nose pitch up heavily, stall, then fall to the ground.

The Aviation Herald reports that the aircraft appeared to stall just after takeoff, and that the crash may have been caused by a shifting load.

METAR at the time of the crash:
AKB 291350Z 18004KT 7000 BKN050 13/04 Q1016 NOSIG RMK BLU BLU
OAKB 291250Z 30007KT 9999 SCT040CB BKN060 15/01 Q1015 NOSIG RMK BLU BLU
OAKB 291150Z 10017G27KT 9999 VCTS SCT090CB BKN120 16/06 Q1013 NOSIG RMK BLU BLU
OAKB 291050Z 11020G30KT 9999 SCT090 OVC120 16/05 Q1012 NOSIG RMK BLU BLU
OAKB 290950Z 10020G30KT 9999 SCT080CB 17/06 Q1012 NOSIG RMK BLU+ BLU+
OAKB 290850Z 10025G42KT 9999 FEW060CB SCT070 17/05 Q1013 NOSIG RMK BLU+ BLU+
OAKB 290750Z 11020G30KT 9999 BKN060 17/06 Q1014 NOSIG RMK BLU BLU
OAKB 290650Z 10017KT 9999 FEW050 BKN060 16/05 Q1015 NOSIG RMK BLU BLU

National Air Cargo 747 N952CA, sister aircraft of the crash N949CA

National Air Cargo 747 N952CA, sister aircraft of the crash N949CA

  • Parrot Sarnoso

    Anyone noticed how the flaps are full down?, the pilot killed the airspeed with the flaps down and landing gears down, not sure why he pulled the nose up, and stalled the airplane. It doesn’t look like a “cargo shift” just like the FineAir DC-8 in Miami, Florida some years ago.

    • W B

      Wow, you’re good. You can tell from this video that the flaps are ‘full down,’ not just set for take-off. The NTSB needs your expertise. I bet they will miss that, and just believe the flight data recorder. Be sure and tell them that the pilot should have taken off with the wheels up to keep from killing the airspeed. They’ll appreciate your help.

    • Parrot Sarnoso

      I almost got killed on a DC-3. We overloaded it with fuel and some cargo, landing gear got stuck during take off, never retracted, this drag killed the airspeed, we returned to the runway, thanks God !..wings were shacking, airspeed near stall, full power. And yes, I am a pilot. That 747 has full flaps, is not a mere 10 degrees.

    • Ed Kostiuk

      Where were you flying the DC-3? I have over 5,000 hours on the Marine Corps C-117 (DC-3) having had a similiar problem back in the 70s with and overloaded a/c.

    • Joe Citizen


  • http://www.facebook.com/dale939 Dale Harris

    Did it completely evaporate leaving no trace of the plane ever being there. No body’s, seats, plane engines, nothing at all left at the scene?

  • scott

    I bet someone may have left the pitot covers on.if true those pilots thought they were putting out more then they really were.time will tell.

  • rotboy

    I just left Afghanistan 3 weeks ago, i was also assigned in bagram (AFB) for three months back in 2011 and worked at the far end of the runway, i had flown in and out of bagram many times as an auditor and was quite familiar with the layout there, this is bagram no question, the picture below also shows a picture taken from a vehicle, it is a Toyota pickup with gold decals, this is a very common vehicle used in Afghanistan by all, government and contractors. This accident is authentic and i have many friends in bagram and have talked with them this past week the accident is very much true, i have flown on many cargo planes traveling all 4 corners of Afghanistan either by the US Airforce C130 mostly and many private contractor flights or helicopters, i will say from more then 100 flights esp. Cargo planes the cargo is well secured and inspected esp the US Airforce flights, how I know we are usually onboard first, then the cargo is loaded, passengers site toward the front of the aircraft so you have a birdseye view of the cargo loaded and the personnel loading it and what they are doing to secure it. My heart goes out to the crews onboard that lost their lives, they are professionals and take their job very seriously.

  • mrbenmp3

    Rest in Peace.. laptop gia re

  • Larry Evers

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to the National Air Cargo Family for their loss. National’s distinguished cargo service to the US military and coalition countries world-wide is without question. Many factors contribute to a tragedy such as this, no need to try to “Monday morning quarterback.” May God comfort everyone affected by this loss. (L Evers {USAF retired} in Tampa, FL).