Boeing Releases Statement on National Air Cargo 747 Accident

National Air Cargo Boeing 747

National Air Cargo Boeing 747

The Boeing Company extends sincere condolences to the families and friends of the crew who perished in the crash of a National Air Cargo flight near Bagram, Afghanistan. At the request of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, Boeing will provide technical assistance to investigating authorities.

In accordance with international protocol governing aviation accident investigations, all inquiries about the investigation should be directed to the Afghan Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation (MoTCA).


  1. says

    After watching the video for the first time i cried so much. As a Pilot and lover of aviation this has hit me really hard and i’m sure it hit many others as well. This crash reminds me of the AA that crashed in Rockaway back in 2001 when its tail broke off, and this video brought back memories of that crash. That was a crash i wish i never witnessed. God bless the crew that was on board the National 744 and their families, our prays are with you.

    To the Pilot’s of the National 744 R.I.P guys, you can all now fly forever.

    • joe1946 says

      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.

      The NTSB reported the Boeing 747-400 was operated by National Air Cargo and destined for Dubai Al Maktoum when it crashed just after takeoff from Bagram and came to rest within the boundaries of the Air Base. All 7 occupants, all American citizens, were killed. Afghanistan’s Ministry of Transportation and Commercial Aviation is leading the investigation into the crash, the NTSB have assigned accredited representatives joining the investigation.

      Several observers on the ground reported the National Air Cargo Boeing 747-400 had just lifted off and was climbing through approximately 1200 feet when it’s nose sharply rose, the aircraft appeared to have stalled and came down erupting in a blaze.

      According to a listener on frequency the crew reported the aircraft stalled due to a possible load shift.

      A car driver caught the aircraft climbing out and coming down on his car camera, see below.

      The aircraft was carrying 5 military vehicles.

      National Air Cargo operates three Boeing 747-400s with the registrations N952CA, N919CA and N949CA. N949CA operated into Afghanistan on Apr 28th.

  2. 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 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.

    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 uncontrolling 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 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.

  3. Roger Curtiss says

    Just curious as to why in the video the camera setting indicates the date as February 1st.

  4. Alex Poliakoff says

    Too easy to say it was loose cargo. I studied the last few seconds of the descent frame by frame. Anyone notice something (looks almost like trash) trailing behind the upper part of the rudder? Take a look. Also, I would have thought the landing gear would have been raised almost immediately after lift-off and a positive rate of climb. The flap and slats look to be extended more than normal. Just my observations. I don’t fly a 74 so, nor am I familiar with National Air’s ops procedures. Until clearly proven otherwise, I’m on the side of the flight crew and the aircraft mfg. But, check out the video frame by frame and see what I saw.

  5. mike d says

    My bet as a pilot/operator is that following takeoff clearance, the accelerastion of the aircraft with a full throttle “push up” (some 400’s have auto throttles) could have brooken cargo straps that at or prior to either V1 or V2, a nose pitch up occureed before the PF (pilot fling) could reduce thrust and bring the nose back down by full delection forward of the yoke resulting in a near 80 degree pitch and stall. Note landing gear and deparure flaps/slats deploed in take off postion. My bet is they will find scouring of the runway by the tail whare the shift occured which doomed it prior to rotation. God rest the crew.

    • Exuma Guy says

      @ Mike D.- The aircraft had already completed 1 flight as loaded. The load was unchanged except for fuel on this flight.

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