IRIAF cargo plane crash-lands killing 15 people

Published: Tuesday, January 15, 2019

A Boeing 707 cargo plane belonging to Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) crashed while landing at wrong airport in Karaj, northern Iran. At least 15 bodies were recovered on the crash site. A flight engineer survived and was transported to a hospital.

The Boeing 707-300 freighter, registered as EP-CPP, was transporting meat for the Iranian army. Inbound from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, it was expected to land at Karaj’s Payam International Airport (PYK). But the flight crew descended towards Fath private aerodrome  whose runway is almost four times shorter. The aircraft overran the runway and ended its course in a residential area, bursting into flames.

A similar event occurred on November 16, 2018, when a Taban Air McDonnell Douglas MD-88, registered as EP-TBC, tried to approach Fath’s runway twice before the flight crew realized its mistake and proceeded to land in Payam International Airport.

The plane belonged to Saha Airlines, a Tehran-based company owned by the IRIAF, before the airline ceased operations in 2013. Its three Boeing 707 were integrated into the air force fleet. The company reportedly resumed operations in 2017, using a fleet of two Boeing 737-300 and three Boeing 747-200F.

On April 20, 2005, Saha Airlines lost another Boeing 707 to a crash. The aircraft, registered as EP-SHE, overran Mehrabad Airport (THR) runway, in Tehran, Iran, after a malfunction of its landing gear. It ended up in the Kan River, in which three passengers died during the evacuation.