Caspian Airlines Flight 7908

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Caspian Airlines Flight 7908
Caspian Airlines Tu-154M EP-CPO DXB 2007-11-11.png
Tu-154 of Caspian Airlines similar to the one involved in the incident
Accident summary
Date 15 July 2009 (2009-07-15)
Summary Mechanical failure due to bird strike
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:

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 17 July 2009. [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 16 July 2009. [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 Corporation website (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 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]