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Cargo Crash at Bagram

Old 4th May 2013, 18:52
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@ hval - thanks for that in post 394.

@hval (#397) thought about uplift of fuel, not sure with only the distance to UAE would have been much to worry about. Also, the price of fuel saved, would surely have been lost on the trip to up to Bagram.

@ clear prop. Never mentioned anything about diplomatic cargo. There is enough in theatre hercs to move that sort of stuff up to Bagram and also enough aircraft leaving Bagram for stateside not to worry a freighter down at Bastian.

Just seems for the sake for a few gallons of fuel a plane ran the gauntlet of landing and departing an airfield that may not have been necessary.
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Old 4th May 2013, 19:13
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It seems to me that we need to stop searching for 'reasons' for the leg to Bagram - it would not have been 'for fun', and we are unlikely to find out, I guess - military contract, military base. It could have been as simple as a crew change.
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Old 4th May 2013, 20:19
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could it have been incorrectly fuelled then, out of cofg?
Extremely unlikely -- near impossible, given that it landed with that load.
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Old 4th May 2013, 20:33
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BOAC: I agree, that is the point I tried to make originally, this is all routine stuff, see below comments.

Mr Angry:

My experience is turnrounds in Afghan are never quick, if the aircraft did come from Europe then we could reasonably expect the FDP to be long??
Yes, if that were indeed the case these guys would be getting late into theirs, but because we don't have that information, there's no reason to assume that anything was unplanned about this routing or that they were anywhere near discretion. It could even be the case that they crew rested nearby before going empty to Bastion to get the cargo. It could be that they were waiting for confirmation of permits and that for operational reasons on the day maybe they had to get out of Bastion because they had a limited window there; and perhaps Bagram was a more viable option to park up and wait for this to happen. At this point they would effectively be "stuck" in Afghanistan until the territories to the south grant overflight. Look at the map, the only other option would be to go the long way round Iran via various places, including the likes of Syria -which is starting to get a little tenuous, but if that was the case it would mean two things - it would have to happen the next day; DWC would probably not be the next stop. If this scenario was correct then the fact DWC was the next stop suggests that they got the permits they needed, eventually and were able to continue the flight within their normal FDP. Again I emphasise the if!

Matelo: the definition of diplomatic or non-diplomatic cargo is not as black and white as one might expect. These are military vehicles being flown from a military airbase, it is up to the territory considering the permit application to decide whether they are "diplomatic" or not and it matters not one iota whether they are inside a civilian aircraft, or are unarmed or whatever. Going via Iran is virtually inconceivable, which only leaves Pakistan, and they can and do insist such loads are handled via diplomatic channels if they so wish.

Apologies for the "essay" on this subject, my reason for going into so much detail is not to speculate as to the actual scenario faced by this aircraft, but to illustrate that these situations are quite normal for this type of mission, in that part of the world. Compared with any other flight most other places on the globe, the processes and challenges are very different. Looking from the outside, it is easy to look at the routing in question and think there is something unusual about it, but there simply isn't anything worth wasting time looking at here, its just everyday Afghanistan ops.
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Old 4th May 2013, 21:18
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Does anyone think that the following quote from the book, "The Plane Truth from an American Airlines Flight Attendant", by By Alicia Lutz Rolow, might be relevant?

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Old 4th May 2013, 21:28
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Anyone know Cargo Matatu?

I'd like his opinion on the apparent loading method.

I am mere humble cargo ground grunt, and no longer "current" with tiedown but I am uncomfortable with what I see.

example: straps through steel chain-eyes without heavy-duty sleeves.

example: apparently insufficient fore-aft restraint

I wait to be flamed
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Old 4th May 2013, 21:43
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The Aviation Herald refers to a statement by National Air Cargo that supposedly said "no cargo was added or removed", however the statement at National Air Cargo's website says nothing about cargo being removed or not.

Last edited by willl05; 4th May 2013 at 21:45.
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Old 4th May 2013, 21:43
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ok boac, had another look and found post #192 is helpful - assuming it applies to a 744. i'd be interested to know how accurate it can be - within fractions of a % of MAC, or more approximate? i'd assumed it maybe technically tricky to be very accurate without precise external measurements.
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Old 4th May 2013, 22:28
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The deck angle in the video appeared at least 30 degrees nose up when it stalled, maybe up to 40. At that point they had no way to survive the crash. We rolled into a steep bank to keep the nose down in the sim but they had no chance to recover at their pitch attitude and speed. Until they get the data cargo shift seems the most likely cause. Runaway trim is what we trained for so the pitch up would be more gradual than a cargo shift.
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Old 4th May 2013, 23:51
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I often, in times and threads like these, wonder why people find it so hard to agree on what would be the 'Occam's Razor' case, and instead try to imply the most obscure, irrelevant without further investigation, and Hail Mary long shot possibilities.

Would a plain, straight forward cargo shift have this effect on an aircraft? I'd venture yes. It checks all the boxes without having to get intensely theoretical, philosophical, aeronautical, or hypothetical.

Could there be other reasons? Sure, but they require increasingly more complex chains of events and dont all lead to the exact same fatal outcome per se.

Is it that hard to accept the possibility that the load shifted on departure?
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Old 5th May 2013, 00:14
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It certainly looks like a cargo shift on departure, but the aircraft is reported to have flown into and out of Bagram with the cargo stow apparently untouched, other than a check over.

Last edited by Methersgate; 5th May 2013 at 00:24.
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Old 5th May 2013, 00:28
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Floor locks, pallet locks, tie downs get fatigued and can fail. I don't think the fact that the cargo already survived one departure, precludes any of the tie down devices from failing on subsequent departures.
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Old 5th May 2013, 00:49
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Vertical it ain't.
The attitude of the aircraft can be determined by anyone who needs to do so, based on the geometry of the video. The video provides an adequate gnomon, the wing span, to ascertain the body length to span, and also using the wing span and aspect, to evaluate the height above the ground. Additionally, the frame rate is around 20FPS, or 50ms, and so time to traverse from TOC to impact can be ascertained. It is steep... and hits hard. As the tip vortex is also observed, an approximation of attitude to FPA is available which can be converted to angle of attack. Do the trig. The height above ground also gives the FOV of the video, and the distance from the observer. The acoustic signature of the post impact rapid fuel burning is evident on the video sound track, and that gives a good measure of the distance from impact of the observer, using the time delay and local speed of sound, neglect speed of light.

The fact that this aircraft had already operated a sector with the primary load in place makes it more curious as to causation. Report is going to be worth reading, WRT how the aircraft came to be in such a condition. The wing fuel loading would move the cg aft, but it is not a massive shift in the scheme of things, the B747's CG general envelope is only to 32% basic from memory, and out of trim case in the past have gone back past 44%, at higher weights, i.e., IU's much further along.

veers left, then right wing slalls.
Teldo serious, #342

Doubt that there is enough evidence available to support your assumptions at this time. Unless you are picking up the rudder image pixel change from rudder aspect change, then that is s bit early to say. The wing drop to the right may be aerodynamic, it also may be controlled by the flight crew, it is not inappropriate in itself, in fact broadly follows TBC and AI guidance for departure form controlled flight. The rate of roll is near the aerodynamic limit for aileron only, it is not anywhere near the limit of the rudder secondary effect authority on roll rate. Generally, in large aircraft upsets, the roll off at TOC, if any, is not particularly pronounced, unfortunately there is a fair amount of data out there to support that opinion. As often as not, the aircraft maintains a relatively stable roll attitude. Why? the normal forces at the low speed case are not that high, and so the roll moments that may exist are not high, but the aircraft maintains a high inertial moment... not much roll.

[For Capt Bloggs..."at TOC"] Did the aircraft stall? very likely, as it evidently had a pitch up moment that was not able to be countered, and eventually the flight path has started to decay. At that stage the KIAS is low, well below normal Vs1g, as the aircraft is not maintaining a level flight path, even though it is accelerated by the pitch up rate. Assume a 0.2g pitch acceleration which is pretty agressive for a B747, as the aircraft goes through 45ANU, the stall speed is going to be below the level flight stall speed, (at 90ANU, it is only related to the pitch acceleration i.e., 0.2g... if the rate is 0g at 90ANU, the aircraft doesn't stall, and the flight path is purely dependent on thrust relative to mass.g...). Did the aircraft roll of due to stall, not necessarily. Would a crew response to roll the aircraft at TOC be appropriate, Absolutely. Will it help? depends on the situation, but it is better than assuming nothing will work. [For Capt Bloggs..."on the descent"] the aircraft is probably stalled, given the angle between the tip vortice and the aircraft longitudinal axis. Stall is related to IAS for a g loading, it is related to angle of attack, so g loading is a primary factor. 0g, zero "stall".

The crew are going from RPT pilots to test pilots in a few seconds, trying anything to maintain a reasonable attitude is not only the best choice, it pretty much is the only choice, unless you have a really good religion. The later attitude is consistent with a flight crew fighting to survive a catastrophic problem. The bank angle they have attained gets the nose down rapidly, but there is inadequate blue sky to effect any meaningful angle of attack reduction before impact. Less roll angle would not have resulted in the nose getting down as far as it did, and would have been ineffective as well. These guys tried hard, and should be respected for that. With more favorable conditions perhaps it would have been only a harrowing hangar story. On the day, they did what they had to in those last seconds, professionally.

Last edited by fdr; 5th May 2013 at 08:59.
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Old 5th May 2013, 01:14
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fdr, don't leave us hanging. Tell us what you conclude from the video, instead of how to calculate it.

Last edited by Sidebar; 5th May 2013 at 01:14.
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Old 5th May 2013, 01:28
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sidebar, take the time to do the calcs, and that makes the outcome more rewarding to you personally. It's just trig, 1:60 will suffice.

PS read the revision to my last post.
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Old 5th May 2013, 03:12
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Whatever is the cause of the pitch up it has to be after getting airborne. Over rotation by crew or anything else will cause a tail strike in 747 unless that also happened. I did not read anything about it so far.
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Old 5th May 2013, 03:44
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Did the aircraft stall? very likely,
Ya joking, aren't ya? It pretty obvious from the top of the drop the thing is hardly moving forward at all, "flying" speed-wise. It's basically dropping like a fluttering leaf. Perhaps they had some small amount of roll control, but I doubt it. Very steep climb to a ballistic fall.
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Old 5th May 2013, 08:31
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Thank you for asking my opinion, for which I am duly flattered!

However, as I am not in possession of the facts it would be unqualified opinion only and I am not willing to speculate.

I.R.Pirate: "Would a plain, straight forward cargo shift have this effect on an aircraft?"

Yes. I have watched it with my own eyes some years ago in Angola on a C-130A. Not a pleasant experience and my reaction was exactly the same as the driver of the vehicle in the now infamous video. Cold. No emotion of any kind entered my being during the event. I think that bothered me for a long time afterward, more than the event itself. Difficult to describe and totally unbelievable unless you have experienced it yourself.
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Old 5th May 2013, 08:59
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Just to agree with Cargo Matatu. The driver's reaction does not surprise me either; my uncle was the Secretary of the RAE and as a teenager I was in the "works" stand near the Black Sheds when the Breuget Atantique crashed at the Farnborough Air Show on the 20th September 1968; my reaction was no different.
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Old 5th May 2013, 09:02
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Sim training should include aft CG shift during rotation....

Stall recovery techniques should be practiced during recurrent training and the recovery technique should be one from muscle memory.
This training should include the technique of an immediate turn if the increasing pitch angle cannot be countered with full forward stab and elevator...ideally, before the onset of the stick shaker/pusher.

The objective is to roll into a bank, sufficient bank angle to keep the nose down, while maintaining configuration, and accelerating in the turn.

Pilots who lack this vital knowledge will incorrectly maintain wings level and stall straight ahead. UA cargo DC8 at DET; Fine Air DC8 at MIA . . .
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