10 years ago, a Boeing 747 stalled and crashed on takeoff from Bagram Air Base

4 Min Read

Monday, 29th of April, 2013, a Boeing 747-400BCF cargo plane, operated by National Air Cargo, crashed on takeoff from Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan.

National Airlines Flight 102, a cargo flight from Bagram Air Base (OAI/OAIX), Afghanistan, to Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC/OMDW), United Arab Emirates, operated with a Boeing 747-428BCF, registration N949CA, stalled and crashed on takeoff from Bagram Air Base (OAI/OAIX), Afghanistan. The airplane was destroyed and the seven crew members onboard perished.

The accident flight was operated as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to transport military equipment.

The original schedule was for the crew to operate flight NCR510 from Chateauroux, France to Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, and then continue to the Dubai World Center at Al Aktoum, UAE. Because no Pakistan over-flight permit was obtained, the flight was re-routed as NCR102 to operate from Camp Bastion to Bagram, refuel, and continue NCR102 from Bagram to Dubai.

According to the load manifest, while in Camp Bastion, the airplane was loaded by National Air Cargo ground personnel with 94,119 kg of cargo, including 5 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) armored military vehicles that were loaded on the main deck of the airplane. Two of these vehicles weighed about 12 tons each, and the other three weighed about 18 tons each.

It was the first time National Airlines had transported 18-ton military vehicles when they were loaded on the accident airplane in Camp Bastion.
The airplane departed Camp Bastion at 07:45Z and arrived into Bagram at 09:23Z (13:53 local time). On arrival into Bagram, the crew experienced a brake overheat condition after landing on runway 03. The crew parked the airplane on the Foxtrot ramp and ran a checklist to address the brake temperature indications in the cockpit, and discussed the required cooling time of 1 to 1.5 hours.

The crew did not take on any additional cargo in Bagram, and only took on fuel for the flight to Dubai.
At about 14:27 hours local time while the airplane was still on the ramp in Bagram, the captain was made aware of a broken strap found by one of the other crewmembers, and the cockpit crew had a discussion about a possible shift of the cargo load during landing in Bagram.
There was additional discussion on re-securing the load prior to departure.

Flight NCR102 taxied out normally for departure on runway 03 at Bagram at 15:14. After receiving clearance, takeoff was commenced at 15:26. The takeoff roll appeared normal. The airplane rotated normally around the Charlie intersection of the runway. Approximately 9 seconds after the crew called to rotate the airplane, the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) stopped recording, and approximately 3 seconds later the flight data recorder (FDR) stopped recording. According to witnesses and video evidence, after becoming airborne, the airplane continued to pitch up until it appeared to stall, turn to the right, then descended to impact with the ground just beyond the departure end of runway 03 and to the right.

An investigation of the wreckage revealed at least the aft-most MRAP broke loose of its restraints during takeoff, shifted aft and damaged the FDR/CVR before penetrating the aft pressure bulkhead. The MRAP’s aft movement was determined to have compromised at least Hydraulic Systems #1 and #2 and may have contacted the stabilizer jackscrew assembly.

Exit mobile version