Iranian Domestic Flight Crashed into a Residential Neighborhood on Takeoff This Morning

An Iranian passenger jet operated by Sepahan Air crashed Sunday morning after takeoff in a residential area near Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport.

Thirty nine people were killed and nine onboard were injured. The plane apparently was an ‘IrAn-140’ — a twin-engine turboprop that’s a variant of an Antonov An-140 assembled in Iran.

The flight was headed for the city of Tabas, about 580 miles southeast of Tehran. The plane suffered an engine failure and its tail struck an electricity tower before impact.

My thoughts are with the families of passengers, crew, and anyone injured on the ground — as well as with Sepahan Air.

Much information that comes out in the immediate aftermath of a disaster turns out to be wrong, so some of these details may change. It’s too early to identify a cause, although much of the reporting includes references to past Iranian air disasters, and to international sanctions against Iran that have damaged their economy and made it difficult to maintain aircraft.

I have no idea the extent to which any of those broader geopolitical issues are related to this incident. I think we should withhold making broad pronouncements of the sort, whatever one thinks of those issues, and for the meantime focus on the human tragedy and understanding the cause.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. The embargo on spares for Western aircraft operating in Iran forces operators there to scrape the bottom of the barrel by operating these machines of questionable airworthiness. Not saying the sanctions are warranted or not, just pointing out that the law of unintended consequences might be in play here.

  2. Since when does Russia have an embargo with Iran? The plane is a licensed variant of the Russian Antonov An-140, so the point is moot. However, another sad day in aviation history.

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