A flight controller in Kabul could not believe the information provided by the pilot of the American C-17 transport plane, who – as reported by “Forbes” and the Defense One portal – reported how many people he had taken on board trying to escape from the Taliban-occupied capital of Afghanistan. “Holy shit, it’s good that you got off the ground,” the controller said to the pilot. 640 people entered the aircraft adapted to carry 134 people.
On Monday, a heavy C-17 transport plane adapted to transport 134 soldiers took 640 people from the Kabul airport, trying to evacuate from the city occupied by the Taliban. Forbes magazine, based on the recorded conversation of the flight controller, said that the pilot was to inform about the transported 800 people.
– How many people do you have on board? the controller asked. – 800 people on the plane? Holy shit, it’s good that you got off the ground, he commented. The photo from the inside of the plane was provided, among others, by Marcus Weisgerber from the Defense One portal.
The plane is adapted to transport 134 soldiers
The C-17 transport plane is designed to carry a maximum of 77.5 thousand kilograms. As for the cargo space, it can accommodate 134 soldiers and their equipment. According to “Forbes”, this capacity may be exceeded in an emergency. Earlier, 670 civilians were transported aboard the C-17 – in 2013, during a typhoon strike in the Philippines.
On Monday, a US representative told Defense One that 640 Afghan civilians were counted after the RCH871 aircraft landed. This means that the C-17 crew overestimated the number of people that made it through the platform to the deck of the machine.
Forbes stressed that no matter if there were 800 or 640 people inside the plane, lifting the machine with such a load requires great skill. The aircraft was supposed to be refueled in flight at an early stage of the flight – which could mean that the machine took off with less fuel to ensure the aircraft could be lifted into the air.
Difficult situation at the Kabul airport
After a break lasting many hours, move on airport in the capital of Afghanistan, Kabul resumed late Monday evening, US Pentagon general Hank Taylor said.
The situation at the Kabul airport, whose plate had been occupied by thousands of people trying to flee Afghanistan, has worsened to such an extent that all flights were suspended on Monday afternoon.
A crowd of people trying to get to the planes blocked the airport. According to an anonymous US military, at least seven people died in the chaos, some of them falling off the machines they were trying to get into. US troops fired warning shots and dispersed the crowd blocking the runway with military helicopters.
Main photo source: Defense one