Caspian Airlines Flight 7908

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Caspian Airlines Flight 7908
Tu-154 of Caspian Airlines similar to the one involved in the incident
Accident summary
Date 15 July 2009 (2009-07-15)
Summary Under investigation
Site near Qazvin, Iran
36°8′33″N 49°59′38″E / 36.14250°N 49.99389°E / 36.14250; 49.99389Coordinates: 36°8′33″N 49°59′38″E / 36.14250°N 49.99389°E / 36.14250; 49.99389
Passengers 153
Crew 15
Fatalities 168 (all)
Survivors 0
Aircraft type Tupolev Tu-154
Operator Caspian Airlines
Registration EP-CPG
Flight origin Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport, Tehran, Iran
Destination Zvartnots International Airport, Yerevan, Armenia

Caspian Airlines Flight 7908 was a scheduled commercial flight from Tehran, Iran, to Yerevan, Armenia, that crashed near the village of Jannatabad, outside the city of Qazvin in north-western Iran, on 15 July 2009.[1] All 153 passengers and 15 crew on board died.[2][3]

The crash was the deadliest aviation accident in Iran since the 2003 crash of a military-operated Ilyushin Il-76, in which 275 people were killed (though some sources list the fatality count at 302),[3] and the deadliest civil aviation accident ever to occur in Iran.[4]


The aircraft was a Tupolev Tu-154M built in 1987 and operated by Iran's Caspian Airlines, according to a spokesman for Iran's aviation agency.[5][6][7]

The crashed aircraft was registration EP-CPG,[8] an aircraft which entered service on 20 April 1987 as YA-TAR for Bakhtar Afghan Airlines and was sold to Ariana Afghan Airlines in 1988. YA-TAR served with Ariana Afghan until sold to Caspian Airlines on 15 March 1998, 11 years after it was built.[9] It was re-registered as EP-CPG in 1999.[10]

The aircraft was checked for safety in June 2009 and was given flight licence until 2010.[7] This was also stated by an Armenian aviation official, saying that the plane had gone through technical control in Mineralnye Vody airport in southern Russia in June.[7]


The aircraft crashed at 11:33 Iran Daylight Time (07:03 UTC), 16 minutes after take-off from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport.[11] According to authorities, the aircraft's tail suddenly caught on fire. The pilot circled, trying to find a safe spot to land, but without success. The aircraft was completely destroyed after it crashed into an agricultural field, carving a crater up to 10 metres (33 ft) deep. An eye witness who claims to have been within 300 metres (330 yd) of the crash-site described the event as if "the plane just fell out of the sky". Three hours after the crash, fires over a 200 square metres (2,200 sq ft) area still remained.[3][12] A witness told Fars news agency:

I saw the plane when it was just ... above the ground. Its wheels were out and there was fire blazing from the lower parts. It seemed the pilot was trying to land, and moments later the plane hit the ground, and broke into pieces that were scattered far and wide.[7]

The aircraft's cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder were found on 16 July. However, one of the "black boxes" was reported by Chief Investigator Ahmad Majidi to be damaged.[7][13] Although they are damaged, it is hoped that they will yield sufficient information to determine the cause of the crash.[14]



It is reported that 38 (including two crew members) of the 168 passengers were Iranian nationals.[15] 40 passengers were citizens of Armenia. There were also two Georgians on board,[16] two Canadians,[17] and two dual-national Iranian Australians.[18] There were also two dual national Iranian-Americans.

Notable passengers[edit]

  • Martik Deravanesian. The founder of rehabilitation and father of orthopaedic science in Iran. He was also the adviser to Deputy Health and Rehabilitation of Red Crescent of Iran[19]
  • All members of Iran's national youth judo squad – eight athletes and two coaches[20]
  • Former Iranian parliament member (2000–2004) Levon Davidian[21]
  • Natela Nikolava – wife of Georgia's Ambassador to Iran
  • Masis Matian Konaraki – Manager of ABB Group in Iran


Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has expressed his sympathy for the deceased and their families.[12] Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan signed a decree on 15 July 2009 declaring the following day a Day of Mourning in the Republic of Armenia.[16]


Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan announced on 15 July that a governmental commission had been set up to investigate the crash. It would be headed by Vice Prime Minister Armen Gevorgyan.[16]

Iranian officials blamed the crash on technical reasons.[clarification needed] It was claimed that the main reason of the accident was an engine failure and destruction due to a bird strike, which resulted in the loss of control and crash of the airplane.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Plane crashes northwest Tehran". Iran News Association. Retrieved 15 July 2009. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Many dead in Iranian air crash". BBC News Online. 15 July 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c "168 reportedly killed in Iran plane crash". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 15 July 2009. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Caspian Tupolev apparently crashes minutes after take-off". Flight Global. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  6. ^ "Iranian Airliner Crashes in Northwest, Killing 168". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "Technical problem caused Iranian plane crash: official". Dawn (newspaper). 17 July 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-17. [dead link]
  8. ^ Simon Hradecky (15 July 2009). Crash: Caspian Airlines T154 in the village of Farsian in Qazvin province on Jul 15th 2009, impacted terrain and burst into flames (14:31Z). The Aviation Herald. 
  9. ^ "EP-CPG Caspian Airlines Tupolev Tu-154M – cn 87A748". Planespotters. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Iranian airliner crashes". Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  12. ^ a b "Planet föll och exploderade" (in Swedish). Aftonbladet. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  13. ^ "Technical problem seen behind Iran plane crash". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 2009-07-16. [dead link]
  14. ^ "Iran plane black boxes 'damaged'". BBC. 15 July 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  15. ^ Worth, Robert F.; Nicola Clark (15 July 2009). "168 Feared Dead After Plane Crashes in Iran". New York Times (New York Times). Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  16. ^ a b c "40 Armenians Among Caspian Air Crash Victims". Asbarez. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  17. ^ "Iranian plane crash victims include 2 Canadians". CBC. 16 July 2009. Retrieved 16 July 2009. 
  18. ^ "Australians killed in Iran plane fireball". Australian Broadcasting Commission website (Australian Broadcasting Commission). 16 July 2009. Retrieved 16 July 2009. 
  19. ^ "پدر ارتوپدي فني ايران در سانحه هوايي اخير درگذشت". Fars News. Retrieved 10 August 2009. 
  20. ^ "All on board dead in Iran plane crash". Press TV. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  21. ^ "يکي از نمايندگان ادوار مجلس در سانحه سقوط هواپيما جان باخت" (in Persian). Iranian News Agency. Retrieved 15 July 2009. [dead link]

External links[edit]