The National Air B747 Crash at Bagram

Whilst beboppin’ around chasing a video thread, there appeared a thumbnail for something that drew me in. One video led to another video, the second done in what I would call a thoughtful and reasoned out interview with an expert.
The subject? The much discussed contract 747 mishap out of Bagram Airbase. The video is a somber watch for anyone, but the discussion that follows I thought was conducted as tastefully and professionally as might be managed under the circumstances. To Ms. Erin Burnett of CNN, I say “Well done”
For my part, I don’t see a load shift being the cause of a stall whose beginning is this subtle; namely, left wing stall with no abrupt pitch up. My call? Not managing/monitoring airspeed and power on a steeper than usual takeoff.

RIP to seven crew members.
National Air B747 Crash at Bagram AB

With that, hizzoner has a midnite wakeup call for a road trip to Victorville and beyond. See y’all on the morrow.


Filed under Airplanes, In Memoriam

4 responses to “The National Air B747 Crash at Bagram

  1. Bill Brandt

    I’d have to second my admiration for the way they have handled this.

    You look at that video and you can see that the plane has a very high – almost abnormally high – pitch up.

    It stalled and brought in this discussion – which I hadn’t heard before – was the necessity to gain as much altitude as possible before leaving the bounds of the airbase – so the question is was the extreme pitch a result of weight shifting from those massive MRAP vehicles (which I read somewhere – all but this carrier refused to handle) – or was it just from the pilot giving too much on the yoke and the plane getting away from him?

    I would think that would be unlikely – he certainly had to have simulator time practicing these extreme maneuvers. And flying that cargo he’d have to be very aware of the dangers of load shifting and stalling.

    I would hope, anyway.

    I’m wondering if it wasn’t a combination of the 2, where a very high nose-up attitude resulted in one of those 27,000 lb vehicles from breaking loose.

    If so I’d think the black box would show that sudden change in pitch.

    Then this accident reminded me of this that occurred near Sacramento in 2000 – all from bad maintenance and a loose bolt.

    Scenerio #3.

  2. ejesegundo

    Always hard to tell before the investigation results come in. The video is eerily similar to that of the 1970 C-2 mishap on Ranger. Probable cause in that one was cargo shift on the cat shot. Four plus six souls if I recall correctly.

    One difference is that the 747 was beginning to recover from a fully stalled condition. Wings level and getting some smack back on. Again hard to tell, but it appears the stall was recoverable had the aircraft departed with enough altitude. The bottom edge is hard.

  3. I’m thinking load shift or a misload. The stall is classic wing rock one way and then complete departure the other way. You’d think the crew could compensate for an over enthusiastic climb angle, but with the CG aft due to load shifting or a load error there isn’t enough elevator to bring the nose back down. Move one 27,000 pound vehicle 10 feet and there is a moment arm change of at least 270,000 pounds.
    Don’t think under those circumstances the stall was ever going to be recoverable, the airplane would pitch up again immediately and stall again.

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