Contrary to earlier reports that the C130 (file photo of type,
below) was flying above 15,000 as it flew northwest of
Baghdad, new information obtained by the Daily Telegraph indicates
the aircraft may have been no more than 150 feet above the ground
when it was hit by 20mm AAA fire.
"It was shredded by a multi-barrelled 20mm canon," an unnamed
British military official told the London paper. "They have worked
out that's what caused the crash."
Specifically, military officials in London believe the Hercules
was brought down by a 1960s-era Soviet-made Zu-23 operated by an
insurgent group called Ansar al-Islam. The group released a video
showing the aircraft, apparently on fire, plunging to the ground.
It was, at the time, the British military's biggest loss of life in
Iraq since the US-led invasion began in March, 2003.