Odds and Ends: 747-400 crash on tape; Repairing the 787 brand; Another 747 doom-and-gloom story

This is dramatic video on the National Air Cargo Boeing 747-400F crash at a US AFB in Afghanistan.

Repairing the 787 brand: We’ve noted previously the brand damage Boeing has to deal with following the 787 issues. This article reports that Boeing has taken out full page ads to repair the brand.

747 Doom and Gloom: We recently linked the post to the Puget Sound Business Journal story casting a dim picture for the future of the Boeing 747-8. The Wall Street Journal follows up with this equally doom-and-gloom piece.

24 Comments on “Odds and Ends: 747-400 crash on tape; Repairing the 787 brand; Another 747 doom-and-gloom story

  1. Amazing video! It appears the 747 was trying to fly straight up and stalled.

  2. 1) I saw that chilling video. I can’t imagine what the crew was going through. R.I.P.
    2)I think many of us knew about the B748 program, especially the -i. Its been “sandwiched” between the B77W from the bottom and the A380 from top. Now with the A350-1000XWB and B779X, it will basically put an end to the B748i program. The B748F has some life in it but the cargo market isn’t doing too well.

    • The landing gear would help to bring the nose down; to retract it would actually aggravate the situation.

  3. 2 comments on the effects that are affecting the air cargo market.
    – The comment talked about by Bernstein is correct : large companies are ousourcing less to asia/china because of rising costs there, some manufacturing is coming back to the US (or mexico) and Europe (or Turkey) alos because transportation costs are outweighing labor cost differentials.
    – the cost of capital (interest rates) is so low that companies can choose to have more inventory and use seafreight instead. seafreaight can take 4-6 weeks to get to US or EU markets from China, but 4-6 weeks more of inventory may be less cost than the cost of airfreight because of those very low interest rates for large companies.

    Both two effects will severely impact airfreight until interest rates go up, oil costs go down, and labor in asia becomes cheaper again relative to labor in EU (Turkey) and USA (Mexico)

    it could be a long wait.

  4. Rudy Hillinga Why is filling out these two lines a new equirement every time I write somethingScott?

    The 747-8 was the VERY LATE and NAIVE response from Boeing to the A380
    I personally met with CEO Phil Condit in Nov. of 1997 and urged him to at least
    assume that Airbus WAS going to get the A3XX going and produce a more
    modern and larger 747 re-placement aircraft for the next 40-50 years.
    Phil’s answer was: “Rudy, i will give you my personal guarantees, that Airbus will
    NEVER launch that airplane!”
    Famous last words, the A380 was launched in early 2001and has alreasdy sold
    300+ units, equivalent to about 500 747’s, which is more than than the number
    of 747’s sold in the first 10 years after it was launched!!

    • I have seen you mention this before but I wonder how could Phil give you a personal guarantee of what Airbus was or wasn’r going to do? Strange comment from him. Although it does fall into a patern… “Customers are telling us they don’t want a re engined plane…” the rest is history.

  5. I’ve been presented with a lot of ANA “fly 787” advertising in recent weeks.

    The 747-8i was an expensive try at spoiling the A380 market for Airbus.
    How much did Boeing intend to spend on that “upgrade” originally
    and how much did it really cost to have a deliverable plane?

    IMHO Boeing would have been better off ( short term, long term) concentrating
    on the “revolutionary” 787 and getting that right.

  6. I can’t stop watching that 747 video. It’s so surreal. You hear about stalls all the time, but to see such a huge plane destroyed in front of your eyes, because of one really sobers you up. Thoughts are with the crew members family and friends. I hope the crew didn’t have time to suffer.

    • I agree with you, watched it several times and it is surreal… Tried to imagine what the pilots must have gone through. RIP to all the crew. I hope the cause behind the stall can be established quickly.

  7. This awful tragedy probably had nothing to do with the aircraft, unless the cargo tie-down anchors were defective. More likely, the problem involved a disastrous shifting of the cargo as the deck inclined upward during takeoff. Wouldn’t an impossibly tail-heavy aircraft be obliged to go nose-up, then fly almost straight up and stall? Apparently the crew managed to level out somehow, but maybe by then it was too late. Pray that they RIP.

    • Hmm,
      superficially this looks like one wing loosing more lift faster than the other, aircraft rolling to that side loosing all remaining lift by way of orientation and then going down fast with the tail as a weathervane taking the bow down.
      Increasing speed gave more control and orientation changed slowly back to level in roll and pitch.
      The final moments before the crash look like they could have made it with much more initial height ( or would have gone into the next stall cycle ).

  8. That is a pretty amazing video. One thing I do notice is that whoever recorded the video was either in such a shock that could not say a word as the plane crashed or was very much used to this sort of things (being in Afghanistan and all). If it was me, I probably jump right out through the windshield just looking at such a big airplane coming down right in from of you like that.

  9. John, the video was perhaps recorded by a dash-mounted camera in a security vehicle that may have been following the bus that is visible on the road ahead of it. After the crash, the camera is oriented toward the fence that surrounds the airstrip, and the vehicle is moved a bit as though to observe and record any movement of possible enemy that might had caused the tragedy.

    Maybe the aircraft had fairly new engines that do not emit much smoke, but only a very faint trail is visible behind the craft as it descends while trying to recover from the stall, presumably with engines running full out at max power. Maybe the distance of the camera was too great, but there is also no visible turbulence of hot exhaust gases or carbon smoke behind the engines before the crash. Could there also have been an engine or fuel-flow problem to complicate this tragedy?

  10. Tragic accident. 20 seconds of shear terror and a sudden dead for the crew, RIP. A painfull longterm recovery for those they leave behind.

    Going into the techical details. I can imagine those aircraft don’t carry much out of Afghanistan. However even a single heavy pallet around the c.o.g. moving back at low speed at a high AoA would do the damage. I can also imagine the crews use steeper climbout profiles using maximum availabe take off thrust, knowing the airfield surroundings are moderately safe for air to ground fire.


    • The accident has flight characteristic similarities to the 1997 crash of a Fine Air DC-8-61F at Miami. The cargo load was mis-loaded, creating an aft-of-CG situation.

    • There was talk about 9 vehicles loaded as cargo.

      Maybe some contrabande was not on the manifest?
      Are weights for such items taken on face value or checked before loading?

      • If everyone sticks to the rules before flight and before take-off when the aircraft is fully loaded.

  11. About pilot training and some interesting historical background re Boeing


    Now of course- BA is outsourcing most of that

    April 30, 2013
    Pilot/Instructor (AMPA) Negotiation Update
    Negotiations resume with proposals and counters

    As effects bargaining and contract negotiations resumed today (Tuesday, April 30), our team gave proposals to address the impact of The Boeing Company moving flight simulators to Miami and received a full proposal for a new contract for our SPEEA Pilot/Instructor bargaining unit.

    Our team plans to work into the evening reviewing and developing responses and counterproposals to present when negotiations resume Wednesday at the SeaTac Hilton.

    As we enter what is hoped to be the final stages of negotiations, our team reminds members our strength is greatest when we stay solidly united.

    We continue to work, and the company appears receptive, to assist represented employees facing layoff find new positions within Boeing. Among the items discussed today was giving priority status to bargaining unit members for all job placement services at the Ed Wells Partnership. We continue to push Boeing for additional assistance.

    These talks are, and will continue to be, difficult. However, with your support we will secure the best outcomes possible for represented employees.

    Watch your home email and the websites – http://www.boeingpilots.com or http://www.speea.org – for updates and information as negotiations continue.

  12. Not sure if it has been noted, but another 5 748 cancellations in April (DAE).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *