Tag Archives: Boeing 747-400

These are the best videos of the Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747‬ emergency landing at Gatwick

A Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747-400 was forced to perform an emergency landing at London Gatwick Airport after main landing gear issue.

On Dec. 29, a Boeing 747-400, registration G-VROM, operating as flight VS43 from London Gatwick to Las Vegas, suffered a Main Landing Gear failure immediately after take off.

After two low passes and circling for a few hours over southern England dumping fuel, the Boeing 747 performed a safe, bumpy, landing at Gatwick, with the still retracted right outboard MLG, just before 16.00 GMT.

Here are the best videos of the mishap we’ve found online.

Another one, shot from the runway end.

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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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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Boeing 747 mock-up used for Special Forces counter-terrorism training in Western Australia

The ambitious al-Qaida’s affiliate in Yemen’s “underwear bomb plot” to destroy a U.S.-bound airliner recently thwarted by CIA, has proved, once again, that civilian planes are still an attractive target for terrorists.

For this reason, armed forces all around the world train to face the terrorist threat, not only in the air, but also on the ground. Indeed, the ability to disable hijackers on a plane filled with passengers and rescue hostages when the aircraft has landed on a divert field, is one of the activities that Special Forces train more often.

At RAAF (Royal Australian Air Base) base Pearce, 35 kilometers to the north of Perth, in Western Australia, the Special Air Service Regiment (SASR), the Australian Special Forces, can put their counter-terrorism procedures to the test using a Boeing 747 mock-up.

The Jumbo (belonging to the fictional Emu Airlines) can be spotted from the satellite on a dedicated parking spot next to the runway 05 threshold, at the following coordinates: -31° 40′ 27.29″, +116° 0′ 40.07″.

Google Earth screen dump

With a contract awarded in 2010  the mock-up plane was updated with an “Extended Upper Deck” most probably required to give the 1:1 model an internal configuration similar to the interiors of the Airbus 380.

Airbus’s double deck wide-body was introduced into service by Australia’s flag carrier Qantas in October 2008 (with some early engine problems…), and is being progressively replacing the Boeing 747-400 across the airlines’s international network.

Image credit: Internet / via Giuliano Ranieri

The Australian units tasked with the rescue of hostages in the counter-terrorism role are the Tactical Assault Group (West), with personnel provided by the SASR, and the Tactical Assault Group (East) provided by the 2nd Commando Regiment.

In the image below, two Black Hawk helicopters during an exercise with the aircraft mock-up.

Image credit: Internet/ via Giuliano Ranieri