FAA Proposes Fine In Fatal Cargo Crash


The FAA says the operator of a Boeing 747 cargo aircraft that crashed in Afghanistan in April 2013, killing all seven on board, failed to comply with FARs when loading heavy military vehicles onto the plane. National Air Cargo Group, based in Orlando, Florida, didn’t follow the 747 flight manual, resulting in cargo that was not properly restrained to prevent shifting during flight operations, the FAA said. During March and April 2013, the FAA says, National flew two Boeing 747s on seven flights while improperly loaded with one or more Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAPs), each weighing between 23,001 pounds and 37,884 pounds. The FAA has proposed a fine of $77,000. National Air Cargo has asked to meet with the FAA to discuss the case.

The 747 that crashed had been loaded with five MRAPs, and took off from Bagram Airfield. Dashcam video of the short flight shows that the crew apparently attempted to turn back to the field, but the aircraft then hit the ground and burst into flame. All seven on board were U.S. citizens. The NTSB is investigating the crash, but has not yet released a final report. According to a factual report completed in October, the cockpit crew had a discussion, while still on the ramp in Bagram, about a broken strap found by one crew member in the cargo hold, and a possible shift of the load during the landing in Bagram. The flight had launched from Chateauroux, France, then stopped in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, and stopped in Bagram to refuel. The final destination was Dubai.