Tag Archives: Afghanistan

U.S. KC-135 refueling plane crashed in Kyrgyzstan. Air Force got rid of parachutes on these tankers in 2008.

Local news outlets are reporting that a C -135 tanker (most probably a KC-135) aircraft disappeared from radar screens near Kyrgyz-Kazakh border owned by U.S. Manas Transit Center.

According to Interfax, the Kyrgyz Emergency Situations Ministryconfirmed the information about the plane crash. Looks like citizens of Zhayil region saw the blast of the aircraft crashing into a mountain.

KC-135

Image credit: Russell Hill

Although it’s too early to say ejection seats or chutes may have saved the crew, we can’t but notice that the KC-135 has no ejection seats.

Actually, there is an escape hatch on the KC-135 but chutes were removed from the Stratotankers, bacause:

“KC-135s are not like other aircraft. They seldom have mishaps, and the likelihood a KC-135 crew member would ever need to use a parachute is extremely low,” according to an article published on the Air Force website.

KC-135 are deployed to Manas in Kyrzyzstan to support Operation Enduring Freedom over Afghanistan.

In 2004, an Air Force KC-135 collided on the ground at Manas with a Kyrgyzstan Airlines Tupolev Tu-154. There were no injuries on either aircraft.

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This animation shows what may have happened aboard the Boeing 747 that crashed after take off from Bagram

The following video shows what may have caused the crash of a National Air Cargo Boeing 747-400 shortly after take off from Bagram Airfield, in Afghanistan, on Apr. 29.

As we reported on our first article on the accident, there are rumours that radio frequency monitors listened a crew report according to which the load had shifted just prior to the crash.

Bagram crash animation

A sudden and violent shift of the CG (Center of Gravity) during initial climb, might have induced the impressive nose high attitude that is clearly visible in the shocking video recorded by a car dash camera.

At that speed and altitude, the aircrew could do nothing to recover the situation.

The animation below points towards the engine stall as the root cause of the crash; however, the wings stalled (they would stall even if the engines were working properly) and the aircraft almost fell from the sky like a stone.

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One of the most shocking videos ever shows huge Boeing 747 crashing after take off from Bagram

This is one of those video that deserve very few words as it speaks by itself.

It was recorded by a dash camera and shows the B747-400 cargo plane operated by National Air Cargo crashing after take off from Bagram Airfield, in Afghanistan.

The B747, contracted out by the U.S. military can be seen almost still, few hundred feet above the ground, unable to climb, before stalling and crashing into the ground.

According to some reports, internal load shifted just prior to the crash, causing the heavy cargo plane to pitch up past the point at which the crew could not recover the proper airspeed and attitude.

Bagram crash video

H/T to Sam Wiltzius for the heads up

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US Civilian Cargo Plane crashes after taking off from Bagram, Afghanistan

On the afternoon of Monday Apr. 29 a civilian Boeing 747 cargo plane taking off from Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, crashed killing all on board.

The doomed B747-400 cargo plane was operated by National Air Cargo and thought to be the example carrying registration N949CA (unconfirmed).

The aircraft had been contracted out by the U.S. military and had arrived at the base the previous day. Eye witnesses said that the 747 had taken off normally but once it had reached an altitude of around 1,200ft the nose pitched up violently leading to a subsequent stall.

There are rumours that radio frequency monitors heard the crew report that the load had shifted just prior to the crash: the heavy cargo plane pitched up past the point at which the crew could not recover; the resulting drop in airspeed made the aircraft stall and that close to the ground there was nothing the crew could do.

National Air Cargo made a statement to Reuters by phone stating “We did lose all seven crew members,” although their nationalities have not been released.

The Taliban released a statement saying that they were responsible for the crash but ISAF (NATO’s International Security Assistance Force) said that there had not been any insurgent activity around or near the base when the incident took place, therefore it would seem the Taliban tried to use this as a bit of a publicity stunt.

The tragic event comes only few days after a U.S. MC-12 military surveillance aircraft crashed in bad weather.

Richard Clements for TheAviationist.com

Bagram crash

Image credit: Albert Ramirez via AvHerald

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UK flying its MQ-9 Reaper UAVs from RAF Waddington as well as from Creech AFB, Nevada

British media outlets are reporting that the Royal Air Force is now flying its MQ-9 Reaper drones from Lincolnshire as well as from Creech Air Force Base, Nevada.

The Guardian has reported that the crews based at RAF Waddington are working in tandem with their colleagues in the U.S. providing round the clock operations in Afghanistan due to the time difference between the UK and US.

No 13 Squadron stood up at Waddington at the end of October to operate the MQ-9 Reaper alongside 39 Squadron based at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada.

The Sky News website quotes the British MoD as saying “XIII Sqn have commenced supporting ISAF and Afghan ground troops in Afghanistan with armed intelligence and surveillance missions, which are remotely piloted from RAF Waddington.”

The Guardian quoted a source as saying “We aren’t flying any more operations than we were before, but with the time differences between the US, Afghanistan and the UK, it is now possible for pilots at Waddington to work in relay with the those in the US.”

It is thought that the RAF has three control stations at its drone ‘hub’ at Waddington and these have gone through a very tough testing process to make sure these new stations are fit for purpose.

Richard Clements for TheAviationist.com

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

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