For the second time this week an American cargo plane has crashed overseas, this time a military jet that has gone missing in Kyrgyzstan. The C-135 fuel transporter (like the one pictured above, refueling a stealth bomber) disappeared from radar on Friday, shortly after taking off from a U.S. air base near the Kyrgyzstan-Kazakhstan border. Kyrgyz emergency services say the plane crashed shortly after 2:30 p.m. local time, but there is no word yet on casualties.
On Monday, a civilian operated-cargo plane crashed upon take off from Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, killing all seven crew members. The plane was owned and operated by a private company (and the crew were all U.S. civilians), but was contracted to the U.S. military.
The plane that crashed on Friday had just left the Manas transit center, which is a key transport hub built by the U.S. military to support the war in Afghanistan It's primarily used as a way station for moving troops and supplies in and out Afghanistan. Officially, it's no longer an "Air Force Base," since it was re-classified after the Kyrgyz government tried unsuccessfully to close it down, but U.S. military personnel provide security for the facility.
The map below shows both where the Manas base is and where the plane reportedely went down, near the village of Chaldovar, along Kyrgyz-Kazakh border.
View Chaldybar in a larger map