Horrendous: Cargo plane crashes in Afghanistan
posted at 4:00 pm on April 30, 2013 by Allahpundit
Via Danger Room, this really is the stuff of nightmares. Watching it feels like a nightmare.
What happened? A theory:
Some early reports are saying the crew mentioned the cargo had shifted. That’s a much more likely reason for the stall than pilot error. A mechanical problem with the flight controls, in particular the elevator trim known as a “runaway trim” is another, though less likely scenario.
Any airplane must be carefully loaded to maintain the center of gravity within a carefully designed and tested zone of the airplane. Cargo aircraft are always loaded so light things are far away from the “CG” and heavier things are closer to the CG. If the cargo inside the 747 were to break loose during take off, it would slide towards the tail, dramatically shifting the center of gravity to the back of the airplane. This would cause the nose to rise dramatically, and without sufficient power to overcome the extremely high angle of attack (the angle between the wing and the flow of air), the air flowing over the wings would “detach” from its normal flow, causing a stall where the wings can no longer generate enough lift to keep the airplane airborne.
All seven people aboard are dead.
Update: The previous clip won’t load, so here’s another version from XBRADTC.