On the 29th of April 2013, a National Air Cargo Boeing 747-400 freighter on behalf of US Mobility Command, registration N949CA performing cargo flight N8-102 from Bagram (Afghanistan) to Dubai Al Maktoum (United Arab Emirates) with 7 crew and cargo consisting of 5 military vehicles, crashed shortly after takeoff from Bagram Air Base's runway 03 at 15:30 local time, and erupted into flames near the end of the runway within the perimeter of the Air Base. All 7 crew died in the accident.
National Air Cargo confirmed their aircraft N949CA with 7 crew, 4 pilots, 2 mechanics and a load master - initial information had been 8 crew -crashed at Bagram. The airline later added, that the aircraft had been loaded with all cargo in Camp Bastion (Afghanistan, about 300nm southwest of Bagram), the cargo had been inspected at Camp Bastion, the aircraft subsequently positioned to Bagram for a refuelling stop with no difficulty, no cargo was added or removed, however, the cargo was again inspected before the aircraft departed for the leg to Dubai Al Maktoum.
A horrifying dashcam video captured the full extent of the crash with the Boeing 747-400F appearing to take off normally as it gained altitude, and then plunging into the ground like a rock. It’s the kind of stuff you may see in a nightmare. The video went viral on the internet and elsewhere (except it was not shown by some respected media outlets). There was a time in history when such things were NOT shown by the media.
At the time the news broke out of the crash I was in Detroit, (Michigan), home state to six of the crew members who died. Interestingly enough on that day I was on the phone to a very good friend of mine who personally knew the deceased Captain of that unfortunate flight. Captain Rajan, former of Pan-Am and a veteran Boeing 747-400 training Captain with Boeing, told me of his utter shock and disbelief that the video of the crash was freely available on the internet.
It’s a sad change of the times indeed that with all the modern technology and social media there is nothing that cannot be sold by anyone (and they don’t have to be journalist in order to do so). In my opinion, such videos should not be on the internet or elsewhere as a mark of respect for the deceased. Yes, there are lots of unmentionable and horrific videos on the internet, however normally such things are not shown by the media. It’s not a Hollywood movie...it’s totally disrespectful to those who died to show that video (In my opinion).
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