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Accident description
Last updated: 28 August 2016
Status:
Date:Monday 21 January 1980
Time:19:11
Type:Silhouette image of generic B721 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 727-86
Operator:Iran Air
Registration: EP-IRD
C/n / msn: 19817/537
First flight: 1968-02-17 (11 years 11 months)
Engines: 3 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7B
Crew:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 8
Passengers:Fatalities: 120 / Occupants: 120
Total:Fatalities: 128 / Occupants: 128
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:29 km (18.1 mls) N of Tehran-Mehrabad Airport (THR) (   Iran)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Mashhad Airport (MHD/OIMM), Iran
Destination airport:Tehran-Mehrabad Airport (THR/OIII), Iran
Flightnumber:IR291
Narrative:
A Boeing 727-86 passenger jet, registered EP-IRD, was destroyed in a CFIT accident 29 km N of Tehran, Iran. All 120 passengers and eight crew members were killed. The airplane operated on a flight from Mashhad Airport (MHD) to Tehran-Mehrabad Airport (THR).
The aircraft had been cleared for an ILS approach to runway 29 at 18:52 hours. At 19:11 the aircraft crashed in the Elburz Mountains north of Teheran.
The investigation revealed that the pilot did not follow the ATS route, but proceeded straight to Mehrabad Airport. About six minutes before impact ATC asked the pilot to make a 360 deg turn over Varamin Non-directional Radio Beacon (NDB). The pilot made this 17nm to the north without advising ATC. On approach the copilot pointed out VORTAC radial crossing on wrong track, but the pilot did not react.


PROBABLE CAUSE: Inoperable ILS and ground radar.

Classification:
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

Sources:
» A Benefit Analysis for Cabin Water Spray Systems and Enhanced Fuselage Burnthrough Protection (CAA PAPER 2002/04)


Photos

photo of Boeing 727-86 EP-IRD
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Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Mashhad Airport to Tehran-Mehrabad Airport as the crow flies is 747 km (467 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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Boeing 727

  • 32nd loss
  • 1832 built
  • 6th worst accident (at the time)
  • 17th worst accident (currently)
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 Iran
  • worst accident (at the time)
  • 4th worst accident (currently)
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