ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 727-86 EP-IRD Tehran-Mehrabad Airport (THR)
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Date:Monday 21 January 1980
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
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
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft 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
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:

PROBABLE CAUSE: Inoperable ILS and ground radar.

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

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


photo of Boeing-727-86-EP-IRD
accident date: 21-01-1980
type: Boeing 727-86
registration: EP-IRD

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).
Accident location: Global; accuracy within tens or hundreds of kilometers.

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

  • 1832 built
  • 32nd loss
  • 28th fatal accident
  • 6th worst accident (at the time)
  • 17th worst accident (currently)
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  • The worst accident (at the time)
  • 6th worst accident (currently)
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