Caspian Airlines Flight 7908

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Caspian Airlines Flight 7908
Tupolev Tu-154M, Caspian Airlines AN1428533.jpg
Tu-154 Caspian Airlines (EP-CPG) involved in the incident
Date15 July 2009 (2009-07-15)
SummaryMechanical failure due to bird strike
Sitenear 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
Aircraft typeTupolev Tu-154
OperatorCaspian Airlines
Flight originTehran Imam Khomeini International Airport, Tehran, Iran
DestinationZvartnots 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] It was the second-deadliest aviation incident in 2009 behind Air France Flight 447.


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.[4][5][6]

The crashed aircraft was registration EP-CPG,[7] 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.[8] It was re-registered as EP-CPG in 1999.[9]

The aircraft was checked for safety in June 2009 and was given flight licence until 2010.[6] 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.[6]


The aircraft crashed at 11:33 Iran Daylight Time (07:03 UTC), 16 minutes after take-off from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport.[10] 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 destroyed after it crashed into a 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][11] A witness told Fars News Agency:

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.[6][12] Although they are damaged, it is hoped that they will yield sufficient information to determine the cause of the crash.[13][needs update]



It is reported that 38 (including two crew members) of the 168 passengers were Iranian nationals.[14] 40 passengers were citizens of Armenia.[15] There were also two Georgians on board,[15] two Canadians,[16] and two dual-national Iranian Australians.[17] There were also two dual national Iranian-Americans.


Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has expressed his sympathy for the deceased and their families.[11] Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan signed a decree on 15 July 2009 declaring the following day a Day of Mourning in Armenia.[15]


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.[15]

Iranian officials blamed the crash on technical reasons. 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]

On the 23rd of December 2014 a chronology of events was published: During the climb to the altitude of 9,700 meters the crew sent a message about a fire in the number one engine. The climb was stopped at 8,700 meters. The airplane, three minutes before the crash, made a turn of 270 degrees then started to descend rapidly with a high vertical speed of about 70 meters per second. 16 minutes after takeoff, the Tu-154M, at high speed, collided with the ground in a field near the village of Džannatabad, approximately 120 km from the Khomeini airport. The aircraft was destroyed upon impact. At the scene of the disaster a crater formed whose depth was approximately 10 meters. The Commission found that it was the destruction of the low pressure compressor in the number one engine that scattered debris and damaged the fuselage and fuel lines causing the spread of a fast fire.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Plane crashes northwest Tehran". Iran News Association. Archived from the original on 20 July 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2009.
  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. Archived from the original on 18 July 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2009.
  4. ^ "Caspian Tupolev apparently crashes minutes after take-off". Flight Global. Retrieved 15 July 2009.
  5. ^ "Iranian Airliner Crashes in Northwest, Killing 168". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 15 July 2009.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Technical problem caused Iranian plane crash: official". Dawn (newspaper). 17 July 2009. Archived from the original on 18 July 2009. Retrieved 17 July 2009.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ "EP-CPG Caspian Airlines Tupolev Tu-154M – cn 87A748". Planespotters. Retrieved 15 July 2009.
  9. ^ "AIRFRAMES.ORG - Aircraft Database - YATAR". Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  10. ^ "Iranian airliner crashes". Retrieved 15 July 2009.
  11. ^ a b "Planet föll och exploderade" (in Swedish). Aftonbladet. Retrieved 15 July 2009.
  12. ^ "Technical problem seen behind Iran plane crash". Yahoo! News. Archived from the original on 19 July 2009. Retrieved 16 July 2009.
  13. ^ "Iran plane black boxes 'damaged'". BBC. 15 July 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2009.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ a b c d "40 Armenians Among Caspian Air Crash Victims". Asbarez. Retrieved 15 July 2009.
  16. ^ "Iranian plane crash victims include 2 Canadians". CBC. 16 July 2009. Retrieved 16 July 2009.
  17. ^ "Australians killed in Iran plane fireball". Australian Broadcasting Corporation website. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 16 July 2009. Retrieved 16 July 2009.
  18. ^ "Катастрофа Ту-154М в Иране. 2009". Retrieved 19 March 2016.

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