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US Cargo Plane Crashes in Afghanistan

Cargo plane crashes in Afghanistan, killing 7 Americans. Crash: National Air Cargo B747 at Bagram on Apr 29th 2013, lost height shortly after takeoff. The horrific moment cargo plane dropped out of the sky before crashing in fireball - killing seven Americans in Afghanistan. A horrifying dashcam video has captured the terrifying moment that a plane plummeted out of the sky and violently crashed to earth in Afghanistan. Seven American crew members of a private cargo plane, bound for Dubai, were killed yesterday when the plane crashed shortly after take-off from Bagram air base near the Afghan capital of Kabul. The Boeing 747-400, filmed by what appears to be a vehicle's dashcam, appeared to take off normally as it gained altitude in the beginning of the video. But suddenly, the plane, described as a Boeing 747 cargo flight, appears to stall, twisting and dropping rapidly before crashing to the ground in a fireball. Killed in the crash were: pilots Brad Hasler of Trenton, Michigan, and Jeremy Lipka of Brooklyn, Michigan; First Officers First Officers Jamie Brokaw, of Monroe, Michigan, and Rinku Summan of Canton, Michigan; loadmaster Michael Sheets of Ypsilanti, Michigan; and maintenance crew Gary Stockdale of Romulus, Michigan and Timothy Garrett of Louisville, Kentucky. In a statement, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the crash, but NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said there were no reports of insurgent activity in or around the base, which is one of the largest in the country and located about 25 miles north of Kabul. 'We did lose all seven crew members,' a spokeswoman for National Air Cargo told Reuters by telephone from Florida, where the company is located. The firm's president, Glen Joerger, said in a statement: 'Safety is always our top priority at National Airlines. This is a devastating loss for our family and we'll work diligently with authorities to find the cause. 'Most importantly, our thoughts and prayers are with our crewmembers and their families.' The Afghanistan Ministry of Transportation and Commercial Aviation is leading the investigation. One of Brokaw's friends described him as a skilled navigator with significant flight experience. ;He was a very good person and very smart person,' Chris Connerton told The Associated Press Tuesday by telephone from Rochester, Minn. Connerton credited Brokaw with helping get him through flight school, as well as a harrowing flight two years ago from Toledo, Ohio, to an international flight expo in Lakeland, Florida, Connerton said ice had built up on the plane to the point that he could no longer get it to climb. 'If it wasn't for Jamie's navigation and know-how ... we wouldn't have made it,' Connerton said. 'I don't know that I would have had the capacity to handle the situation on my own.' Brokaw leaves behind a wife and young step-daughter. Hasler, a pilot, was married just two weeks ago in his native Michigan. The 34-year-old also had a two-year-old daughter. He was a high school hockey star who lived in a tidy neighborhood in the suburbs outside Detroit. The district governor for Bagram, Abdul Shukor, described the plane as having reached an altitude of about 1,312 feet before suddenly 'falling out of the sky,' he said, citing witness accounts. Coalition forces said that the official cause of the crash is under investigation, but it is believed that the plane's cargo - which included mostly military vehicles - moved as the flight took off, causing it to spin out of control. The Aviation Herald reported that the crew of the plane reported that a load shift caused the plane to stall moments before the crash. Bad weather is also being weighed as a possible cause. The crash came two days after four U.S. service members were killed when their surveillance aircraft in southern Afghanistan crashed due to bad weather. The Afghanistan Ministry of Transportation and Commercial Aviation is leading the probe into the crash, but the NTSB has also sent a team of investigators.

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