Strength in Numbers: The crash of National Airlines flight 102

The last moments of National Airlines flight 102 were captured by a dashboard camera. (CNN)
The seal of the United States Transportation Command. (US Department of Defense)
N949CA, the aircraft involved in the accident. (Luis David Sanchez)
Left: an Oshkosh M-ATV (Wikimedia user PEOSoldier); Right: a Cougar (public domain image).
A M-ATV being secured aboard a cargo plane at an unspecified date and time. (Unknown author)
Simplified diagram of why strap angle is important. (Own work)
Tie-down straps are placed at many overlapping angles to react against forces in multiple directions. (NTSB)
A Cougar is loaded onto the N949CA at Camp Bastion on the day of the accident. (NTSB)
The possible route of National Airlines flight 102. Dashed portion is presumed; flight plan data was not available. (Google + own work)
Some of the crewmembers of flight 102. (CBS News and the Brokaw and Sheets families)
This animation of the MRAP rolling backward appeared in Mayday season 16 episode 10: “Afghan Nightmare.”
The final seconds of flight 102 were captured on this dashcam video. (CBS News)
Although the full video has not been released, this still was taken from a security camera on the base. (NTSB)
An aerial view of the crash site. (Unknown author)
Impact point of the M-ATV tire on the aft pressure bulkhead. (NTSB)
How the M-ATV punched through the aft pressure bulkhead (APB) and impacted the jackscrew. (NTSB)
Damage to the jackscrew after the crash vs. its normal mounting position. Both the screw and its drive motor were rotated upward into the structural beam on impact, but the rearward separation of the screw from the motor must have occurred before that. (NTSB)
The M-ATV which caused the accident was still recognizable even after the massive impact. The fact that its rear end was completely flattened was evidence that it was positioned beneath the tail on impact, and the vertical stabilizer came down and crushed it. (NTSB)
Diagram of the crash site and debris found near the runway. (NTSB)
How a single M-ATV should have been secured if Boeing guidelines for tall, rigid cargo were followed. (NTSB)
Flight 102’s horizontal stabilizer is recovered after the crash. (NTSB)
Smoke rises over Bagram after the crash. (Albert Ramirez)
Overview of the crash site, with locations of aft pressure bulkhead fragments labeled. (NTSB)
Pieces of flight 102’s tail section lie in the desert after the crash. (NTSB)
One last look at the accident sequence. (CNN)

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Analyzer of plane crashes and author of upcoming book (eventually™). Contact me via @Admiral_Cloudberg on Reddit or by email at kylanddempsey@gmail.com.

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Admiral Cloudberg

Admiral Cloudberg

8.9K Followers

Analyzer of plane crashes and author of upcoming book (eventually™). Contact me via @Admiral_Cloudberg on Reddit or by email at kylanddempsey@gmail.com.