After a Ukrainian passenger jet crashed in Iran on Wednesday morning, speculation is mounting over what caused the plane to burst into flames.
The crash happened shortly after Iran fired a barrage of missiles at US forces in Iraq, but it was not yet clear whether there was any connection between the military action and the plane crashing.
However, the investigation will likely be hindered by the tensions between the US and Iran — the plane that crashed was a Boeing 737-800. Typically, that would mean that Boeing and US investigators would participate and provide technical expertise, but it is unclear whether this would happen, or how it would work, in the current climate.
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Speculation over what caused a Ukrainian jetliner to crash in Iran is mounting as the investigation already shows signs of political roadblocks.
Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 from Tehran to Kyiv burst into flames and fell to the ground within minutes of taking off early Wednesday morning. All 176 passengers and crew members aboard the Boeing 737-800 were killed.
The crash occurred within a few hours of Iran firing missiles at US forces in Iraq, raising questions about whether the plane could have inadvertently been hit.
Iranian officials initially said a technical issue was to blame and later that an engine fire caused the pilot to lose control, but there have been several contradictory and confusing statements. The head of Iran’s civil aviation organization, Ali Abedzadeh, later told the Iranian news outlet Mehr that there was no evidence of technical problems, according to reporting by The New York Times. He also said that the plane had not contacted the control tower about an emergency.
The Ukrainian Embassy in Iran initially said that terrorism or an attack was not a factor, but removed the statement from its website later, replacing it with one saying that it was too soon to know what had happened.
Adding to the speculation is doubt over whether an engine failure could cause a plane to crash. Commercial aircraft are designed to fly with a single engine in the event that one fails. An uncontained engine failure, in which shrapnel from a failed engine damages the engine casing, potentially damaging or destroying the rest of the plane, is rare.
According to the airline, the plane was just three years old and had undergone maintenance checks just two days before the crash.
The airline also noted that the flight crew, which included one extra pilot due to the scheduled length of the flight, was highly experienced, and said it considered it unlikely that pilot error was a factor.
“Tehran airport is anything but a simple one. Therefore, for several years UIA has been using this airport to conduct training on Boeing 737 aircraft aimed at evaluating pilots’ proficiency and ability to act in emergency cases,” said Ihor Sosnovsky, Ukraine International Airlines’ vice president of operations. “Given the crew’s …read more
Source:: Business Insider