37 Killed in Airplane Crash in Iran
A Hesa IrAn-140-100 aircraft which operated as Sepahan Airlines flight 5915 carrying 42 passengers and six members of the flight crew to Tabas in Iran crashed into a residential area shortly after the aircraft departed from Tehran Mehrabad Airport earlier today, Sunday, August 10, 2014.
According to an article posted at The Aviation Herald, 11 occupants were taken to hospitals with serious injuries; while 37 occupants reportedly died in the crash. There were no injuries or casualties on the ground — and although the exact cause of the crash is still unknown at this time, “the airline reported the aircraft suffered a technical malfunction of the left hand engine (Klimov TV3) while on a charter flight. The aircraft had last flown two days earlier.”
I first read about this story when Gary Leff — author of the View From The Wing weblog — posted about it earlier today along with a link to a discussion posted by Milepoint member sudosandwich; so I searched for a similar discussion posted on FlyerTalk.
“Why do airline companies keep killing so many people by using these Russian planes”, asked FlyerTalk member JamesEaston.
FlyerTalk member notsosmart appeared to take exception to that comment: “A spectacularly ignorant post. Do you think that all Russian-made planes just fall out of the sky after take-off? I’ve flown plenty of Tupolevs and Ilyushins, and would do so again.”
Although there was a stretch of time between September of 2011 and December of 2012 where there were at least three major incidents involving aircraft built in Russia, does this prove that JamesEaston is correct?
- A Tupolev Tu-204 aircraft which was operated by Red Wings crashed at Vnukovo airport in Moscow on Saturday, December 29, 2012 and narrowly missed vehicles on Kievskoye Highway just outside of the airport when it overshot the runway and caught fire — four people were reportedly dead; while an additional four people were injured
- All 45 people aboard a Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft — which reportedly plowed into the side of a mountain in Indonesia on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 — perished; and the irony of this crash is that the flight was designed to promote the aircraft as a regional jet and to bolster the confidence that the Russian-built aircraft is significantly safer today than its predecessors
- Only two of the 45 people — including members of the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv hockey team, which was on its way to its season opener game — aboard survived a crash of a Yakovlev-42 charter aircraft into the Volga River on Thursday, September 8, 2011
I would say no even though I do not recall ever flying as a passenger on an aircraft built in Russia; and no, I have not actively tried to avoid that because of safety reasons. I just do not recall ever having the opportunity to do so — and I cannot imagine hesitating to board and fly as a passenger on an aircraft built in Russia in the future if the opportunity is presented to me.
However, this crash happened after at least four other major incidents involving commercial aircraft in recent months — including the following:
- A McDonnell Douglas MD-83 aircraft which operated as Air Algerie flight 5017 crashed in Mali on Thursday, July 24, 2014 — and none of the 110 passengers and six crew members survived
- The crash of an ATR72 aircraft which operated as TransAsia Airways flight 222 in Taiwan on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 in inclement weather caused by a typhoon, carrying 54 passengers and four members of the flight crew — none of whom reportedly survived
- A Boeing 777-2H6ER aircraft which operated as Malaysia Airlines flight 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur had reportedly been shot down by a missile on Thursday, July 17, 2014 in eastern Ukraine near the border with Russia — all of the 298 passengers and flight crew members aboard the aircraft were reportedly killed — resulting in airlines adjusting flight routes to avoid the air space above Ukraine until further notice
- The mysterious disappearance of a Boeing 777-200 aircraft which operated as Malaysia Airlines flight 370 — carrying 227 passengers and 12 members of the flight crew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing — early in the morning on Saturday, March 8, 2014 somewhere over the Gulf of Thailand en route
As I wrote in this article pertaining to whether or not commercial aviation is safe after the four major incidents listed above:
“We can say how dangerous air travel has become and cower, not wanting to travel. We can mitigate our risks in our attempts to stay alive as long as possible. Let us be as safe as we can so that we can enjoy life.
“Sorry. I don’t buy that. Not for a second.
“It is easy to get all caught up in the sensationalist media hoopla surrounding incidents which cause the deaths of hundreds of people all at once — but the incidents must be viewed realistically. They were not caused by blatant carelessness or purposeful negligence — although it can be argued that a missile attack on a supposedly unintended target can certainly qualify. Unusual and atypical circumstances were the causes which resulted in the tragic accidents listed above. Even terrorist attacks are not considered ordinary in most places on our planet; and where they may be considered part of the norm, you may want to exercise greater caution if you do not intend to outright avoid those places altogether. I visited Beirut several years ago and would have no problem visiting Israel — despite the aforementioned prohibition imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States, which has since been rescinded.
“While it is important to not be foolish — I personally would not jump out of an airplane at 35,000 feet without a parachute or peek into the mouth of a hungry wild lion — travel is all about taking risks. Every time you walk out of the door of your home, you place yourself at risk — without even mentioning all of the potential risks that exist inside your home. I will bet that there were more fatal accidents on the roads and highways near your home since January 1, 2014 than which occurred in the air involving commercial aircraft in the same time period; and I will bet that more people died in motor vehicles in your country in a year than in airplane crashes — yet you still step into your vehicle to travel from one place to another.
“I could cite statistics all day long — but that is not the point.
“Travel is about experiencing different cultures; meeting new people; tasting foods which are new to you; and experiencing activities which you have never done before — all of which can be risky in one sense or another. Travel is not about repeating the same habits; eating the same foods; and ‘sterilizing’ the experience to the point of being mundane, predictable — and ‘safe.’
“Think about it. Which trip report sounds more exciting to you: one which the person experienced caviar and champagne in the lap of luxury — or one where the person tells you how he or she narrowly escaped a situation considered potentially dangerous?”
Again — as I wrote in that article — I am not advocating that you should drop a sedentary lifestyle to instantly become a thrill-seeker. What I am saying is that there really is nothing to fear — and that with risk comes excitement, adventure and intrigue. Just take the proper precautions when you travel, knowing that there are always risks involved — and know that despite the recent incidents through which no one survived, commercial air travel is still one of the safest methods of travel in the world; so sit back, relax — and enjoy your flight.
In the meantime — as with the other tragedies listed above — my thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues who lost their loved ones in this airplane crash in Iran.