Iran News ...


6/21/04

F-14 crash kills both pilots in central Iran

Both fighter pilots of an Iranian F-14 Tomcat were killed Sunday morning after it crashed near the central city of Isfahan while landing, IRNA reported from Tehran.

The plane based at the Eighth Air Base of the Iranian Army went down and exploded while on a training mission, the Army confirmed adding both pilots were martyred.

An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the crash, it said.

The evening daily Kayhan identified one of the pilots as Brigadier Ali Abu-Ata.

It also reported on another aviation incident after fire in the engine of a Boeing 707 passenger plane, en route to Tehran from the Kish Island Saturday night with 161 passengers, forced it to turn back shortly after take-off.

Kayhan, quoting a 'reliable source', reported on a moment of fear after another engine of the plane also caught fire upon landing.

"Some female passengers of the plane blacked out," the paper quoted one passenger as saying.

National flag carrier Iran Air fleet mainly comprises of Boeing aircraft bought before the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

But Iran has found it hard to buy spare parts due to the unilateral US embargo, imposed after the revolution.

This has forced the country to supplement its aging air fleet with planes leased or bought from the former Soviet Union, entailing in a string of fatal accidents as a result.

An Iranian air force Il-76 crashed into the mountains in Iran last year killing all 302 passengers and crew.

... Payvand News - 6/21/04 ... --



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