National Air Cargo crash


29 APR 2013 Boeing 747-428BCF (N949CA) of National Airlines (National Air Cargo), Bagram Air Base (BPM)- 7(7 )

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Date: 29 APR 2013
Time: ca 15:00
Type: Boeing 747-428BCF
Operator: National Airlines (National Air Cargo)
Registration: N949CA
C/n / msn: 25630/960
First flight: 1993
Engines: 4 General Electric CF6-80C2B1F
Crew: Fatalities: 7 / Occupants: 7
Passengers: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total: Fatalities: 7 / Occupants: 7
Ground fatalities:
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Location: Bagram Air Base (BPM) (Afghanistan)
Phase: Takeoff
Nature: Cargo
Departure airport: Bagram Air Base (BPM)
Destination airport: ()
A Boeing 747-400BCF cargo plane, operated by National Air Cargo, crashed on takeoff from Bagram Air Base (BPM), Afghanistan. A base spokesman said the aircraft crashed from a low altitude right after takeoff. A fire erupted. An air base official reported that all seven crew members were killed in the accident. Bagram Air Base has a single concrete runway, 03/21 of 11819 feet (3602 m) in length. According to eyewitness reports, the airplane attained a very steep nose-up attitude immediately after takeoff from runway 03. It rolled left and right and entered a stall, descending towards the ground until it struck the ground near the end of the runway. Reportedly N949CA operated into Bagram as flight NCR510 from Châteauroux Airport Airport (CHR), France on April 28. The identity of the accident airplane has not yet been confirmed by authorities. A thunderstorm with Cumulonimbus clouds was approaching the air base at the time of the accident. A weather report shows winds began shifting from 100 degrees at 09:55 UTC to 350 degrees at 10:55 UTC. Accident time was about 15:00 LT / 10:30 UTC: KQSA 291155Z 33008G17KT 9999 -TSRA SCT050CB BKN090 BKN170 13/04 A2996 RMK CB OHD MOV N SLP139 60000 70000 51014 KQSA 291059Z 35011G17KT 9999 FEW050 BKN065 BKN090 14/05 A2993 RMK WND DATA ESTMD ALSTG/SLP ESTMD KQSA 291058Z 35011G17KT 9999 FEW050 BKN080CB BKN150 14/05 A2993 RMK LTG DSNT NW SLP124 WND DATA ESTMD ALSTG/SLP ESTMD KQSA 291055Z 02007KT 9999 FEW040 BKN080CB BKN150 18/06 A2994 RMK PK WND 06026/1005 WSHFT 1027 LTG DSNT NW CB DSNT NW SLP124 WND DATA ESTMD ALSTG/SLP ESTMD KQSA 290955Z COR 10017G30KT 9999 SCT085 BKN140 BKN200 17/06 A2992 RMK PK WND 09032/0856 LTG DSNT NW CB DSNT E SLP213 WND DATA ESTMD ALSTG/SLP ESTMD COR 13


I saw N919CA, a sister 747 to the one that crashed, fly into KNZY about 4 months ago. Sad to see something like this happen to National, I thought they were an interesting airline and with a small fleet one crash can be devastating.


Plenty of videos out there if you look for it…pretty horrific.
Does this appear to be cargo shifting?


Yes, that is the most accepted cause for this crash right now. Also, I heard the crew radioed that they suspected a load shift right before crashing.


My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the crew.


Will the aircraft be replaced? As a loss of 1 747 for National represents a 33% drop in capacity.


Good question. As small of an operation that NCR is, pulling any other aircraft over to help may kill them. They could wet lease until a slot comes available, but I’m pretty sure they are insured against total loss.

Add into that the DoD contract, what will need to be paid out for loss of equipment, reparations to families for loss of crew, and it becomes a relative unknown. I believe they currently have only 1 more B744 in their fleet, and pulling a B757 from their passenger service or a DC8 would leave them with loss of capacity either way…

Definitely an unknown, that I can see…



I imagine they will wet-lease until a suitable replacement aircraft is found. Their insurance will likely cover the cost of the wet-lease.