Fri, Jun 27, 2003
Training Flight Claims Five Students
Details are sketchy, but it has been reported that a
C-130 owned by the Iranian military went down on Wednesday, some
thirty miles south of Teheran.
The official word is that two pilots and five students were
aboard; none survived.
The early afternoon crash, in the Rudshour River
drainage, was caused by, according to Iranian radio monitored by
the Associated Press, "technical failure." Two dozen armed military
guards quickly surrounded the crash site, near the new Imam
Khomeini International Airport, which is not officially open, but
which is servicing certain flights. The airport was named for the
late Ayatollah, who took over the anti-Shah revolution in Iran, and
who became most-famous for humiliating the United States after
taking over the US Embassy in Teheran and holding dozens of
Americans captive. The captives were released on President Reagan's
inauguration day in 1981.
The C-130s in Iran's fleet are older models, dating at least to
the late 1970s, and their maintenance and flight-readiness have
been hampered by US parts embargoes, according to additional
sources. Similar problems apparently are to blame for the grounding
of many Iranian Airbuses and Boeing airliners.
In February, 2000, another Iranian C-130 ran into an Airbus A300
as the Herk was taking off from Teheran's soon-to-be-closed
Mehrabad airport. At least five were killed in that collision, as
both aircraft caught fire.
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