This amateur video claiming to be shot in Afghanistan showed up on YouTube today following reports that a U.S. civilian cargo plane crashed in the region north of Kabul on Monday. The timestamp on the video reads February 1, 2013. However, witness accounts and a post on NYC aviation defend the authenticity of the footage. Additionally, news verification service Storyful geolocates the video to the site of yesterday’s crash, and a Redditor, who says they recently served in Afghanistan, also says it’s legit.
3. This was posted on an aviation forum by a witness claiming to have seen the crash first hand
The accident was witnessed by a number of us on the ground. The National Air Cargo 747-400 took off and as is fairly usual with these crews entered a steeper than ‘normal’ climb.. this is often done here and referred to as a tactical departure.. we perform them so as to avoid close proximity to any ground based insurgents..
The pitch angle of the a/c was seen to increase beyond even what we normally witness until it could only be described as extreme.. the left wing was then seen to dip slightly before the role was countered followed by a role to the right causing the right wing to drop.
The a/c appeared to be fully stalled with a wing drop at between 1000 and 1200 feet agl. The a/c then descended with the nose dropping and right wing low as it disappeared from view at a very low altitude. It’s unlikely that the nose had any significant pitch down attitude at the time of impact. The a/c crashed within the confines of the airfield close to holding point Alfa.
The above is accurate and witnessed by most of our people on the ramp so can be easily verified. There was no insurgent activity and although the weather here is currently unstable with considerable thunderstorm activity the weather was not a factor in the accident.
At the time of the crash there was no verticle activity close to the airport and the wind was moderate and steady.. we had landed shortly before with the wind at 090/14. (R03)
We have heard from airport sources that there were 8 people on board made up of the flight crew and load-masters.. I can’t confirm this.. It has also been reported that a communication from the flightcrew shortly after take-off stated that they were having control problems. I can’t confirm this either but it does seem possible.
The appearance of the flight profile did suggest that either a miscaculation had been made regarding the loading CofG/Weight or that part of the cargo had shifted during rotation. I’m stating this only to help describe the sequence of events as seen from the ground and not speculating.