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Incredible Crash Footage
24 May 2018
Warning - This video contains shocking images. Viewer discretion advised.
Introducing The Blue Marlin
En route from the British military base of Camp Bastion (Afghanistan) to Al Maktoum Airport (Dubai), the Boeing 747-400 series freighter had temporarily stopped in Bagram Airfield (Afghanistan) to refuel. Carrying military vehicles and general cargo with seven crew (x4 pilots, x2 mechanics & x1 loadmaster) the National Airlines flight, which was flying on behalf of the United States Air Force Air Mobility Command, appears to stall during ascent shortly after take-off.
Climbing to approximately 370 metres (1,200 feet) the nose of the aircraft can be seen rising sharply, suggesting unexpected cargo movement, which included three armoured vehicles and two mine-sweeping vehicles which can each weigh more than 16 tonnes. This was supported by claims a crew member could be heard on military radio notifying a shift, though such reports were never substantiated.
The Investigation results
While the video is dated 2013/02/01 the date stamp was incorrectly set - with the accident confirmed to have occurred on the 29th April 2013, just after 3:30 pm local time.
On the 2nd June 2013 a joint investigation into the crash by the United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority confirmed the load shift hypothesis. The military vehicles on board broke loose, rolling backwards and moving the aircraft's centre of gravity beyond allowable rear limits. This caused the plane to pitch suddenly and stall, plummeting uncontrollably.