National Air Cargo 747 Crashes in Afghanistan, All 7 Aboard Perish [PHOTO][VIDEO] – UPDATE 3

National Air Cargo Boeing 747

National Air Cargo Boeing 747

A Boeing 747 cargo jet has crashed today following takeoff at the US air base in Bagram, Afghanistan. Reports indicate that all 7 crew perished in the crash.

The 747 belonged to National Air Cargo, which is a U.S.-based charter and cargo carrier.

‘The Taliban claims to have brought down the aircraft, but according to an eyewitness, the aircraft stalled on take-off, the nose went vertical and it ‘came straight back down’. Afghan authorities have denied enemy involvement.

The aircraft was said to be carrying military equipment bound for Dubai.

The runway is now closed and the whole base is on lock-down. National Air Cargo has confirmed the accident, but is waiting for the full facts before releasing a statement.’

There are no additional details at this time. We will update when we know more.



Twitter user Albert Ramirez posted this photo of the crash:

National Cargo 747 Crash

National Cargo 747 Crash


The National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday it is sending a team to investigate a fatal crash in Afghanistan of a cargo plane that killed seven crew members, including five from Michigan.

NTSB spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said NTSB “is sending a team of investigators to Afghanistan later today to investigate yesterday’s crash of a Boeing 747 cargo airplane.”

A National Airlines Boeing 747-400 was carrying vehicles aboard intended for Dubai, when it went down at about 7 a.m. Monday, said Shirley Kaufman, National Airlines and National Air Cargo vice president of Human Resources, Ethics and Compliance.

The seven dead were four pilots, two mechanics and a load master, who reviews if the cargo weight is appropriate for the aircraft. No other information on the victims was immediately available. The freight plane had no commercial passengers aboard.



Here is video of the crash:


    • Alison says

      No it was not sabotaged. A stall at takeoff is an almost sure sign of weight and balance issues. All aircraft have to precisely balance the aircraft based on the general law of flight in this case: thrust and gravity. If too much gravity (cargo) sits in the rear of the aircraft it will hold the tail to the ground, pull the nose up and will not make proper flight surface air coverage.

    • Neith08 says

      They did report on it this morning. They said that it was likely caused by the cargo. They think the vehicles in the plane broke loose from and weighed the plane down making it impossible for the pilots to maintain control of the plane.

    • says

      JamesMX, this was obviously a stall that happened for a number of reasons. Most likely the freight shifted and put forces on the plane the pilot could not correct. This happened in a manner of about 25 seconds. tThis could have happened if the flaps weren’t set correctly. Did you see any missiles strike the plane? Not everything is a terrorist attack.

  1. skylloyd1 says

    This is a classic case of weight shift when the A/P goes vertical, RIP to the crew.

  2. JP says

    I am a former freight dog and this is every pilots fear. My Condolences to my fellow airman and families..

    • says

      Yup. That is what you were told. That is what we all were told. How about the one a day before this one, I posted the link above your comment?

  3. LandoPBM says

    Because its a US carrier, carrying military stuff, took-off and crashed at a military base and its probably not a terrorist attack. that is why the media does not broadcast it yet…

  4. LandoPBM says

    @ Lee: same question came to my mind after seeing the previous accident a day before this one, as ‘CFI Academy’ posted?

  5. MAVERICK says

    According the news, it seems to me that no proper LOADSHEET has been made and or no LOADMASTER has performed what expected, a safe and sound loading operation. Deepest sympathy for the victim’s love ones! Unfortunately the mishandling situations supported by cuts and or reckless actions still prevail in aviation. Again, if it happened as “shown”!

    • matra550magic says

      Me I see it around 1300 ft… with a 38 deg nose up, before diving at 65 deg nose down, speed around 353 kts with a bank angle of 13 deg during the impact. How does that sound ?

  6. Chad says

    Sure does look like a weight shift stall. This is a horrible crash and a really bad feeling for the aircrew, cargo shift is becoming a problem that needs to be addressed soon because as commercial pilots with properly trained load masters this should not have happened, on my flights I make sure that my loadmaster double checks every securement device on my aircraft and that every vehicle is properly secured. God rest the crew and I will pray for peace for the families.

  7. says

    I fly this same airplane, B-747-400F, for a different airline. Looks to me, at first sight, and only by looking at the video, that this was likely a load shift. It’s happened a dozen or so times in the past. Terrifying. I’m impressed he was able to recover the airplane as much as he did. But if it was a load shift, as I suspect, the airplane was unflyable, and nothing he could have done was going to save them.

    God Bless them and their families.

  8. says

    Please someone……explain how a load shift……would bring down a 747…….I mean I get it….but….it must have been……massive……???!!!!!………….

    • Don says

      The plane was supposedly carrying huge MRAP military vehicles weighing 32000 lbs each. If one of these broke loose and moved aft during a steep climb out, the CG was greatly compromised and the plane stalled with no altitude for the crew to possibly recover.

  9. matra550magic says

    Guys you’re good !

    It’s gonna take weeks or months to the NTSB to figure it out but you, the day after, you know what happend… Let me guess : shift load ? wrong trim setting ? trim runaway ? improper cg and w&b ? pilot error ? Did you get acces to the FDR ? CVR ? Those poor guys died and the only think we can do now is to wait the investigation’s result !

    Fly safe…

  10. Nalliah Thayabharan says

    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 11,849 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. Loadmasters 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. Once 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 of failed. A chain holding the vehicle might of been weak and broke. Or a tiedown could of failed. There are many things that could of 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. Watching the video makes me think that the cargo load got loose and shifted back and caused the rapid nose high pitch. It´s a very deep stall because the aircraft seem to be almost vertical in the rolling.

    Similarly 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 at least 5 people. The DC-8 upon takeoff became tail heavy, stalled and then crashed in a Miami, business district 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 at 0804Z, October 11, 1983, Flying Tigers 747-200 had the similar load shift. The pallet/load which shifted was pipes used for nuclear power plant cooling systems. The airplane was not written off and was flying again about 6 weeks later, having been repaired by a Boeing swat team. The swat team removed the aft fuselage and tail sections, replaced the pressure dome/bulkhead, aft fuselage and the tails sections

  11. Doug McPherson says

    The aircraft just dropped out of the sky with almost zero speed. Talk about a helpless feeling the crew has if the cargo shifted aft and they could not overcome the COG imbalance with the elevator or throttle.