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Old 29th Apr 2013, 13:41   #1 (permalink)
 
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Cargo Crash at Bagram

PressTV - Civilian cargo plane crashes in US air base in E Afghanistan
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Old 29th Apr 2013, 14:10   #2 (permalink)
 
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Crash: National Air Cargo B744 at Bagram on Apr 29th 2013, lost height shortly after takeoff
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Old 29th Apr 2013, 14:53   #3 (permalink)
 
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Without posting names, could someone please confirm the nationalities of the crewmembers?
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Old 29th Apr 2013, 15:46   #4 (permalink)
 
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Load shift is being reported..
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Old 29th Apr 2013, 15:47   #5 (permalink)
 
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A Boeing 747-400BCF cargo plane, operated by National Air Cargo, crashed on takeoff from Bagram Air Base (BPM), Afghanistan. A base spokesman said the aircraft crashed from a low altitude right after takeoff. A fire erupted. A local police chief reported that all crew members were killed in the crash.
Bagram Air Base has a single concrete runway, 03/21 of 11819 feet (3602 m) in length.
Reportedly N949CA operated into Bagram as flight NCR510 from
A thunderstorm with Cumulonimbus clouds was approaching the air base at the time of the accident.

Weather reported about the time of the accident (about 15:00 LT / 10:30 UTC):
KQSA 291155Z 33008G17KT 9999 -TSRA SCT050CB BKN090 BKN170 13/04 A2996 RMK CB OHD MOV N SLP139 60000 70000 51014
KQSA 291059Z 35011G17KT 9999 FEW050 BKN065 BKN090 14/05 A2993 RMK WND DATA ESTMD ALSTG/SLP ESTMD
KQSA 291058Z 35011G17KT 9999 FEW050 BKN080CB BKN150 14/05 A2993 RMK LTG DSNT NW SLP124 WND DATA ESTMD ALSTG/SLP ESTMD
KQSA 291055Z 02007KT 9999 FEW040 BKN080CB BKN150 18/06 A2994 RMK PK WND 06026/1005 WSHFT 1027 LTG DSNT NW CB DSNT NW SLP124 WND DATA ESTMD ALSTG/SLP ESTMD
KQSA 290955Z COR 10017G30KT 9999 SCT085 BKN140 BKN200 17/06 A2992 RMK PK WND 09032/0856 LTG DSNT NW CB DSNT E SLP213 WND DATA ESTMD ALSTG/SLP ESTMD COR 13
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Old 29th Apr 2013, 16:14   #6 (permalink)
 
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With all due respect, rumours about load shifting on takeoff are just pure uneducated guessing.
Should rumour #1 (loss of altitude after takeoff) be true, load shifting is just one of several possible accident causes.
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Old 29th Apr 2013, 16:29   #7 (permalink)
 
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From AvHerald

Quote:
According to a listener on frequency the crew reported the aircraft stalled due to a possible load shift.
So maybe not uneducated guessing....
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Old 29th Apr 2013, 16:31   #8 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
rumours about load shifting on takeoff are just pure uneducated guessing.
I would not say "pure uneducated guessing". It is from a link reporting that as having being transmitted from the aircraft.

So being purely factual, it is either a mistake / misunderstanding that such a transmission was made or the transmission did occur and the person transmitting was either correct or not. In neither case does it seem 'pure uneducated guessing' - though whether it is an actual / contributary cause is another matter.
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Old 29th Apr 2013, 16:43   #9 (permalink)
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Eyewitness account from: the Loadstar Breaking news: National Air Cargo crash at Bagram

"I witnessed this crash today and there was no Taliban involvement. I can tell you this for sure the 747 took off and commenced a quite steep climb out, not unusual for here, then one of two things happened. In my opinion either the strong head wind or a micro up burst caused it to pitch upward at what looked to be at least 85deg. Nose up or the cargo shifted to the rear and caused it to nose up. It then did what all swept wing aircraft do in a stall and pitched left at about 1200 Ft AGL, then it seemed like the pilot tried to correct and it pitched right and headed for the ground just before impact. It looked like it had flattened out to nearly level but had very little or no forward speed what followed was the ground shook, followed by a large ball of fire and a huge black cloud of smoke. I truly wish I had not seen this, but I did, and my prayers and thoughts go out to all involved both on board and the family and loved ones of the crew and passengers."
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Old 29th Apr 2013, 17:06   #10 (permalink)
 
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A radio call itself is important as it implies the aviate and navigate have taken place and the problem still exists. Although the intrerpretation of load shift does not in itself confirm the problem other than the effect.
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Old 29th Apr 2013, 17:17   #11 (permalink)
 
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The two most dangerous times in a flight: takeoff and landing.

I noted the METAR cited above: what are the chances that windshear may have been involved, or a wind shift?

EDIT:
The name of that company seemed familiar, now I remember. I think they were an element of one of the Op Plans I worked on in the 90's.

Quote:
National Air Cargo Group, Inc. dba National Airlines is a Part 121 carrier and member of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) specializing in time-sensitive and heavy-lift domestic and international cargo solutions.

Last edited by Lonewolf_50; 29th Apr 2013 at 17:23.
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Old 29th Apr 2013, 17:18   #12 (permalink)
 
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If the airplane was stalling, I doubt the PNF would have/take the time to make an r/t call to that effect.
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Old 29th Apr 2013, 17:28   #13 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
what are the chances that windshear may have been involved
Weather conditions that afternoon seem to have been prone to windshear.
However, the METAR does not show any TSRA until about 1200Z. At 1200Z there are CBs overhead, according to the METAR.
Accident time according to media reports was about 1500-1530 LT, which translates to 1030-1100Z.

Although the 1027Z METAR does report peak winds from 060 degrees at 26 knots at 1005Z and wind shift at 1027Z.
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Old 29th Apr 2013, 17:48   #14 (permalink)
 
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The accident was witnessed by a number of us on the ground. The National Air Cargo 747-400 took off and as is fairly usual with these crews entered a steeper than 'normal' climb.. this is often done here and referred to as a tactical departure.. we perform them so as to avoid close proximity to any ground based insurgents.. The pitch angle of the a/c was seen to increase beyond even what we normally witness until it could only be described as extreme.. the left wing was then seen to dip slightly before the role was countered followed by a role to the right causing the right wing to drop. The a/c appeared to be fully stalled with a wing drop at between 1000 and 1200 feet agl. The a/c then descended with the nose dropping and right wing low as it disappeared from view at a very low altitude. It's unlikely that the nose had any significant pitch down attitude at the time of impact. The a/c crashed within the confines of the airfield close to holding point Alfa.
The above is accurate and witnessed by most of our people on the ramp so can be easily verified. There was no insurgent activity and although the weather here is currently unstable with considerable thunderstorm activity the weather was not a factor in the accident. At the time of the crash there was no verticle activity close to the airport and the wind was moderate and steady.. we had landed shortly before with the wind at 090/14. (R03)
We have heard from airport sources that there were 8 people on board made up of the flight crew and load-masters.. I can't confirm this.. It has also been reported that a communication from the flightcrew shortly after take-off stated that they were having control problems. I can't confirm this either but it does seem possible.
The appearance of the flight profile did suggest that either a miscaculation had been made regarding the loading CofG/Weight or that part of the cargo had shifted during rotation. I'm stating this only to help describe the sequence of events as seen from the ground and not speculating.

Last edited by MungoP; 29th Apr 2013 at 18:04.
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Old 29th Apr 2013, 18:14   #15 (permalink)
 
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Good factual reporting MugoP, thanks. This helps us better understand the circumstances.
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Old 29th Apr 2013, 18:19   #16 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
"The National Air Cargo 747-400 took off and as is fairly usual with these crews entered a steeper than 'normal' climb.. this is often done here and referred to as a tactical departure.. we perform them so as to avoid close proximity to any ground based insurgents.."

I understand what you're saying, I like to stay far away from the ground in Bagram as well but... Boeing does not have a procedure for this, nor does the B744 ACMI operator I fly for, I don't know what National's procedures are.

My point is, being with all the conjecture thus far, if there was some type of "tactical departure technique" being performed by the flight crew, it could very well be a contributing factor. Of course, more speculation.

Last edited by service monkey; 29th Apr 2013 at 20:06.
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Old 29th Apr 2013, 18:25   #17 (permalink)
 
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Speculation of course.....

I fly for another 744 operator who goes to OAIX regularly and there is no such "tactical departure" in use by us at least......just a standard NADP-1 is adequate, with the possible exception of acceleration height being delayed until 4 or 5000 feet AGL.
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Old 29th Apr 2013, 18:34   #18 (permalink)
 
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from MungoP post

I take it then that the aircraft had not entered a stall when the radio call was made ?

Nor was there a crew report of a load shift ?

This might make a difference as whether the crew understood what was causing their problems?
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Old 29th Apr 2013, 19:57   #19 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Speculation of course.....

I fly for another 744 operator who goes to OAIX regularly and there is no such "tactical departure" in use by us at least......just a standard NADP-1 is adequate, with the possible exception of acceleration height being delayed until 4 or 5000 feet AGL.
of course it is speculation, but its educated, something a forum like this promotes. Of course there is such a thing as a "tactical departure", done it out of many runways in that area on many occasions, pakistan, iraq and lots of other war torn countries employ this manoeuvre! just because your company doesnt do it, doesn't mean "there is no such thing....." Load shift sounds like the most believable "speculation", especially after reading MungoP's post....
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Old 29th Apr 2013, 20:08   #20 (permalink)
 
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AFAIK, there's no "tactical departure" for the B744.
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