Inside Scoop on Downed Cargo Plane

Reader Rick Vatsaas forwarded us an email from a technician at DHL International Aviation who inspected the cargo plane that was hit by a shoulder-fired missile while departing from Baghdad Airport a few weeks ago:
“Aircraft was hit at 8000 FT, lost ALL hydraulics and therefore had no flight controls, actually did a missed approach using only engine thrust and eventually (after about 16mins) landed heavily on runway 33L at Baghdad. This was fortunate because with no steering the aircraft veered off the runway to the left, had they landed on 33R veering to the left would have taken them straight into the fire station. The aircraft then travelled about 600 metres through soft sand taking out a razor wire fence in the process, see LH engine pic, and came to rest almost at the bottom of the sloping area between the runway and a taxiway.
“The crew obviously did a fantastic job in getting the aircraft back on to the ground and one can only assume that it was most fortunate that they were not aware of the state of the wing as they could not see it from the cockpit.”
The photo below shows the wing of the cargo plane that was hit by the missile:
All of which, as Rick says, “underscores the risk President Bush took in coming to Iraq.”