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National Panel To Discuss 2013 Afghanistan Plane Crash That Killed 6 From Michigan

DETROIT (AP) - The National Transportation Safety Board is scheduled to meet Tuesday in Washington, D.C., to determine the probable cause of a 2013 cargo plane crash in Afghanistan that killed all seven crew members.

The Dubai-bound Boeing 747-400 plane was being operated by National Air Cargo when it crashed just after takeoff from Bagram Air Base on April 29, 2013.

The NTSB said in February that it was examining shifting cargo as a possible factor. The plane was carrying 207 tons of cargo, including five Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles weighing 12 to 18 tons each.

It picked them up at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, and took on 53 tons of fuel at Bagram before taking off for Dubai.

The flight took longer than originally planned when Pakistan refused permission for the plane to use its air space for a direct flight from Camp Bastion to Dubai, and Taliban forces opened fire on Camp Bastion, delaying the plane's arrival by about an hour, the 86-page report said.

"While the plane was still on the ramp in Bagram, the captain was made aware of a broken strap found by one of the other crewmembers, and the cockpit crew had a discussion about a possible shift of the cargo load during landing in Bagram," the report said. "There was additional discussion on re-securing the load prior to departure."

The crash killed navigator Jamie Brokaw, of Monroe, Michigan; maintenance worker Gary Stockdale, 51, of Romulus, Michigan; pilots Brad Hasler, 34, of Trenton, Michigan, and Jeremy Lipka, 37, of Brooklyn, Michigan; first officer Rinku Summan, 32, of Canton, Michigan; loadmaster Michael Sheets, 36, of Ypsilanti, Michigan; and maintenance crewman Timothy Garrett, 51, of Louisville, Kentucky.

Orlando, Florida-based National Airlines had recently moved its headquarters from Michigan's Willow Run Airport, west of Detroit. National Airlines is a subsidiary of National Air Cargo.

© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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