Ukrainian Plane Crashes in Flames in Tehran - Shot Down By Iran's IRGC

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
https://www.npr.org/2020/01/07/7944...rrying-180-people-crashes-near-tehran-airport
A Ukraine International Airlines jetliner reportedly carrying 176 passengers and crew has crashed near Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport, according to Iran state television, which said all those aboard are dead. Iranian civil aviation officials said the crash is thought to have been caused by mechanical problems.
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This plane is going down in flames. How often does that happen due to mechanical problems?

Or was it shot down? Did the Iranian military mistake this for an enemy military plane?
 
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Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
-Sudden loss of data and aircraft control. Scattered debris field means it broke up in air. Debris doesn't support explosion from internal bomb. Visible inward turning punctures consistent with debris or missile fragments.

It looks as if there are two viable scenarios.
-Violent engine breakup, not just engine fire. (Possible ingestion of large object?)
-Missile strike. (Or possibly larger caliber automatic AA cannon fire. It would have to be of the type that bursts before contact. Not 23mm cannon fire.)

But those puncture marks show uniform size, which seems inconsistent with engine breakup. On the other hand, we're only seeing a few casual photos.
Are there previous examples of an accident like this caused by engine breakup?
 
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sharpnfuzzy

Active Member
There have been many occurences of uncontained engine failure, but to my knowledge this would be the first that resulted in a crash, in modern Western built aircraft anyways. There were a few close calls though (BA in Las Vegas, American in Chicago) and the most recent incident that people probably would have heard about on a 737 was Southwest 1380, and that did result in a fatality. The FAA even issued an emergency airworthiness directive for the CFM56-7B engines after that incident.

Looking at one of the crash photos from the UIA plane, it sure looks like something came out of the engine. I see at least two obvious holes and one that is hard to tell from this angle.
uia_b738_ur-psr_tehran_200108_5a.png
Source
 

Dan Wilson

Senior Member.
Sudden loss of data and aircraft control.
This is certainly what makes this case unusual so far. As far as I know, the only way for a plane to lose all lines of communication at the same is either an intentional switching off by the pilot or an event much more catastrophic than a typical engine fire. While that does not mean it was shot down and other accident scenarios are possible, it adds strangeness to this sad situation.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.

your hyperlink photo article is so far the most informative article linked in this thread!

Crash: UIA B738 at Tehran on Jan 8th 2020, lost height after departure

By Simon Hradecky, created Wednesday, Jan 8th 2020 05:54Z, last updated Wednesday, Jan 8th 2020 15:38Z

A UIA Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800, registration UR-PSR performing flight PS-752 from Tehran Imam Khomeini (Iran) to Kiev (Ukraine) with 167 passengers and 9 crew, was climbing through 8000 feet out of Tehran's runway 29R about 12nm northwest of the airport at about 06:18L (02:48Z), when the aircraft's transponder signals ceased. The aircraft was found in an open field near Parand, a surbub of Tehran, at position N35.5529 E51.1121 about 10nm east of the last transponder position (N35.52 E50.91). All occupants perished in the crash.

Iran's Civil Aviation Authority CAO reported the aircraft was handed off by ATC at about 06:18L near Tehran when it fell to the ground. Initial reports indicate all occupants have been killed in the impact. Iran's Accident Investigation Board has dispatched investigators on site. Most occupants were Irani citizens, a number of occupants were citizens of other nations.

Iran's Emergency Services reported no survivors were found by rescue and recovery units dispatched to the crash site.

Ukraine's Embassy to the Iran tweeted that UIA confirmed their aircraft crashed near Tehran Airport after takeoff. According to first information all occupants have been killed. A task force and a hotline for relatives has been set up. The Embassy subsequently added a statement on their website stating: "According to preliminary information from the Iranian side, the plane crashed due to an engine failure due to technical reasons. The version of the terrorist attack or rocket attack is currently excluded." All 9 crew were Ukrainian citizens. At around 08:20Z on Jan 8th 2020 the embassy entirely withdrew their message on their website and replaced it with a travel warning for Iran. On their Twitter feed the Embassy reported according to passenger manifest the aircraft carried 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians (including 9 crew), 10 Swedish citizens, 4 Afghanistan citizens, 3 Germans and 3 British citizens (176 occupants). The embassy later reinstated their earlier, withdrawn message however without the sentence regarding the engine failure, now stating instead: "Information on the causes of the plane crash is clarified by the accident investigation commission. Any statements regarding the causes of the accident before the commission decision are not official."

Iran's Accident Investigation Board reported all their investigators are out to investigate the crash. The crew did not transmit any emergency call and did not indicate any problems. The aircraft crashed about 5 minutes after departure. In the evening the AIB reported the black boxes have not yet been located.
http://avherald.com/h?article=4d1aea51
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Alexandria Nick

Active Member
Looking at one of the crash photos from the UIA plane, it sure looks like something came out of the engine. I see at least two obvious holes and one that is hard to tell from this angle.
uia_b738_ur-psr_tehran_200108_5a.png
Source

Is this the one of the engine nozzles? It doesn't look like the inlet cowl. Would that then mean that the source of those punctures would have to be in the low pressure turbine instead of the more common fan or low pressure compressor failures?
 

sharpnfuzzy

Active Member
Is this the one of the engine nozzles? It doesn't look like the inlet cowl. Would that then mean that the source of those punctures would have to be in the low pressure turbine instead of the more common fan or low pressure compressor failures?

Yeah definitely the back of the engine with the exhaust cone just visible.
 

Dingo

Member
There have been many occurences of uncontained engine failure, but to my knowledge this would be the first that resulted in a crash, in modern Western built aircraft anyways. There were a few close calls though (BA in Las Vegas, American in Chicago) and the most recent incident that people probably would have heard about on a 737 was Southwest 1380, and that did result in a fatality. The FAA even issued an emergency airworthiness directive for the CFM56-7B engines after that incident.

Looking at one of the crash photos from the UIA plane, it sure looks like something came out of the engine. I see at least two obvious holes and one that is hard to tell from this angle.
uia_b738_ur-psr_tehran_200108_5a.png
Source
Difficult for me to properly quote sources as I'm on mobile, but wikipedia does list a few total losses from uncontained engine failure eg. Two Polish Il-62s crashes due to engine failure. No total loss on a 737, but there was British Airtours Flight 28M, 737 that suffered engine failure on takeoff. They aborted but a fire killed 55 passengers.

So we do know that an uncontained engine failure can occur on a 737 that will start a fire, which matches the current official story. Very early days for speculation though.

PPRUNE thread has good pictures and claim it looks like fuselage penetrated by missile frag

https://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/628650-ukrainian-aircraft-down-iran.html

enu98kpu8amdzka_4cee5d74f48dc8f8292257cc991d85566e6d3ebe.jpg

That does look like a portion of a wing with control surfaces at bottom. Is it the top or bottom surface of the wing though? If it was missile damage then it would be targeting the engines if heat seeking and therefore shrapnel should be entering the wing from below, not above.

EDIT: also a mod should chabge the thread title, as plane didnt go down in Baghdad.
 
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CeruleanBlu

Senior Member.
Would it be possible to have the main title of this thread corrected? The plane crashed in Tehran, not 'Bagdad', and it might show up better in searches with the proper location listed.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Would it be possible to have the main title of this thread corrected? The plane crashed in Tehran, not 'Bagdad', and it might show up better in searches with the proper location listed.

should it read like 'Ukrainian plane crashes in flames ascending from Tehran Airport' ?? since that's a pretty important bit of info that isnt mentioned until half way down the page.
 

Dingo

Member
Just saw a post up on Twitter claiming a piece of missile was found at the crash site:
Source: https://twitter.com/P8NTRMAN/status/1215001420203581440?s=19


Most obvious initial question being "is photo #2 actually from the crash scene?"
Twitter strips metadata so that's no help, I'm trying to reverse image search now.

EDIT: photo is claimed to be 'from a house near the crash site'. Only hits on the image search were retweets.
 
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CeruleanBlu

Senior Member.
CBS is reporting the following:
https://www.cbsnews.com/live-update...ukraine-today-2020-01-09-live-stream-updates/


U.S. officials are confident Iran shot down a Ukrainian jetliner in the hours after the Iranian missile attack on U.S. targets earlier this week, CBS News has learned. The Ukrainian International Airlines plane crashed Wednesday soon after takeoff from Tehran's airport, killing all 176 people on board.

U.S. intelligence picked up signals of a radar being turned on, sources told CBS News. U.S. satellites also detected two surface-to-air missile launches, which happened shortly before the plane exploded, CBS News was told.

Federal officials were briefed on the intelligence Thursday, CBS News transportation Kris Van Cleave reports. A source who was in the briefing said it appears missile components were found near the crash site.

The plane was believed to have been mistakenly targeted.
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A video that claims to show a missile impact has surfaced online:

Source: https://www.liveleak.com/view?t=u3CLB_1578595454
 

CeruleanBlu

Senior Member.
The pictured missile seeker claimed found near the crash site matches what we know is operating in the area according to Russian reports.

Source: https://twitter.com/BabakTaghvaee/status/1215281024885719040






TEHRAN, February 7 (RIA Novosti) - Iran has successfully tested the TOR-M1 air defense missile system recently supplied by Russia, the Iranian news agency ISNA said, citing the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps responsible for national missile forces.

The tests were part of military exercises that began in southern Iran Wednesday after Russia completed the delivery of 29 TOR-M1 anti-aircraft missile systems to Iran in late January under a $700 million contract signed at the end of 2005.

Russia's weapons supplies alarmed the United States, which imposed new sanctions on the Russian government's official arms dealer Rosoboronexport and on two other companies for the sale of TOR-M1 to the Islamic Republic. Rosoboronexport faced sanctions for arms sales to Iran and Syria twice last year.

Russian authorities responded by saying the contract with Iran on TOR-M1 did not violate any international regulations and pursued purely defensive goals.
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https://web.archive.org/web/20090202140633/http://en.rian.ru/russia/20070207/60358702.html
 

Dingo

Member
CBS is reporting the following:
https://www.cbsnews.com/live-update...ukraine-today-2020-01-09-live-stream-updates/


U.S. officials are confident Iran shot down a Ukrainian jetliner in the hours after the Iranian missile attack on U.S. targets earlier this week, CBS News has learned. The Ukrainian International Airlines plane crashed Wednesday soon after takeoff from Tehran's airport, killing all 176 people on board.

U.S. intelligence picked up signals of a radar being turned on, sources told CBS News. U.S. satellites also detected two surface-to-air missile launches, which happened shortly before the plane exploded, CBS News was told.

Federal officials were briefed on the intelligence Thursday, CBS News transportation Kris Van Cleave reports. A source who was in the briefing said it appears missile components were found near the crash site.

The plane was believed to have been mistakenly targeted.
Content from External Source
A video that claims to show a missile impact has surfaced online:

Source: https://www.liveleak.com/view?t=u3CLB_1578595454
That's interesting! MSN news is also covering the story, though they have different details - they didnt mention apparent radar data, but they did have a quote from a ukranian source baaically commenting on the twitter photos I linked above.

Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine's Security Council, told Ukrainian media that officials had several working theories regarding the crash, including a missile strike. "A strike by a missile, possibly a Tor missile system, is among the main (theories), as information has surfaced on the internet about elements of a missile being found near the site of the crash," Danilov said. He did not elaborate on where he saw the information on the internet.


https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/worl...ely-iran-downed-ukrainian-jetliner/ar-BBYNe6h
 

Dingo

Member
buildings looks similar to what you see on google maps, but can't really find exact location

Edit: apparently bellingcat already found it: Source: https://twitter.com/bellingcat/status/1215352457972404226
Very useful of them to slap a giant watermark pretty much directly over the important part of the footage! /sarcasm

Youtube has a video of a Tor M2 engaging a target for comparison:
Source: https://youtu.be/uxQL6noJcMg

Launch @ 22 seconds, detonation @ 30 seconds. From a quick eyeballing on ny phone at work seems like a large flash is consistent with a Tor M2 rocket.
 

Dingo

Member
Thanks!

Footage seems to match what I'd expect for a missile strike. Light heading in from the left is too fast to be a plane itself, and the fire after impact is heading the opposite direction. Can't see any lights on the plane, but that's probably due to poor resolution and it being washed out by the bright light in the top of the frame. Why would the witness be filming already? There has to have been something to attract their attention.

What's strange to me is that in this clip the post-impact fire burns for a bit and then appears to go out. The other clip shows a fire continuing down until there's a very bright flash, the opposite of what happened here.

When I get home I'll do some quick mathematics and see if the footage that we've got appears to be consistent with what Bellingcat claims. If they're giving a suspected launch location and video location and we have the track of the plane, we should be able to estimate if the apparent speed of the missile in the video is consistent with an SA-15. The angles and the lack of reference points in the night video might make it a bit difficult, but I'd consider being in the right ballpark to be good enough.
 

Dingo

Member
The witness probably heard or saw the first missile?

Bellingcat Geo location does match up.

iranparand.png

Google Map Link.

https://goo.gl/maps/zgxMVMUfAcuxyHDD6

Iranian Base from where the missiles were probably launched from

https://goo.gl/maps/cRAap4AZfKez9nnr9

That's what I was wondering, but this seems to be consistent with a first strike. Could have been that they had already fired one and missed though?
We have two clips, the clip of the fire in the sky that turns into a massive flash on the horizon, and this second clip which shows a rocket motor flying up, then a flash and a fire.
To me the timeline seems to be that the launch video came first, and the big flash/crash video was second, that seems obvious from the fire.
So the question is how many missiles were fired and how many were hits? The launch video doesn't exactly match with the flash/crash as I said, because the fire appears to go out at the end of it. They may have fired one missile and damaged the plane causing it to turn back, then finished it off with a second. I assumed the big flash was the plabe hittinf the ground, but it could be a second missile sitting off the fuel tanks?

I havent had time to compare the apparent size of the debris field to other inflight breakups.

I've done some maths already in between work. From what I can tell, range from alleged launch site to impact is ~8.2km (including altitide of the plane), well inside the 12km range of a SA-15 missile. Plane was at ~2400m altitude, max alt of the missile is 6000m. Consistent with capabilities of the system.

Going to go over the footage frame by frame and analyse the speed/angle.

Also wondering why the hell they fired. They were launching pretty much directly towards a civilian airport. How can it be mistaken identity in that case? No way a USAF plane would be taking off from an Iranian domestic airport right?
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
Also wondering why the hell they fired. They were launching pretty much directly towards a civilian airport. How can it be mistaken identity in that case? No way a USAF plane would be taking off from an Iranian domestic airport right?
Volatile, vainglorious, half-trained, aggressive incompetence.
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Multiple sources say it was a missile now.
https://www.newsweek.com/iranians-shot-down-ukraine-flight-mistake-sources-1481313
The Ukrainian flight that crashed just outside the Iranian capital of Tehran was struck by an anti-aircraft missile system, a Pentagon official, a senior U.S. intelligence official and an Iraqi intelligence official told Newsweek. None of the officials was authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
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https://www.economist.com/middle-ea...020019n/owned/n/n/dailypicks1/n/n/NA/375620/n
“WE HAVE INTELLIGENCE from multiple sources including our allies and our own intelligence,” declared Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, speaking on January 9th of the loss of a Ukrainian airliner that crashed in Tehran in the early hours of the previous day, killing 63 Canadians and 113 others. “The evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile (SAM). This may well have been unintentional.” Mr Trudeau added that “the evidence and conclusions are strong enough for me to share them with Canadians”.
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Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeremy...ken-a-737-for-a-military-threat/#64aec2f322e3

Given that Iran had launched a barrage of ballistic missiles at two U.S. bases in Iraq hours before in retaliation for the targeted killing of the high-ranking Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, Iranian air defense forces likely were operating under looser rules of engagement in anticipation of a potential counterstrike, as well as psychological pressure and fatigue after being on alert for the five days since his death.

“Your incentive balance sways over to shoot first, ask questions later,” says Michael Elleman, senior fellow for missile defense at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Exacerbating that would be their lack of experience – Iranian air defenses haven’t been tested since the Iran-Iraq War. The level of training of Iranian air defense forces is also a question mark.

Given the multiple means of detection and the distinctive flight profile of an airliner, there’s no excuse for the deadly mistake, says Kopp.

“The only credible explanation is incompetence,” he says.
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Agent K

Senior Member
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeremy...ken-a-737-for-a-military-threat/#64aec2f322e3

Given that Iran had launched a barrage of ballistic missiles at two U.S. bases in Iraq hours before in retaliation for the targeted killing of the high-ranking Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, Iranian air defense forces likely were operating under looser rules of engagement in anticipation of a potential counterstrike, as well as psychological pressure and fatigue after being on alert for the five days since his death.

“Your incentive balance sways over to shoot first, ask questions later,” says Michael Elleman, senior fellow for missile defense at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Exacerbating that would be their lack of experience – Iranian air defenses haven’t been tested since the Iran-Iraq War. The level of training of Iranian air defense forces is also a question mark.

Given the multiple means of detection and the distinctive flight profile of an airliner, there’s no excuse for the deadly mistake, says Kopp.

“The only credible explanation is incompetence,” he says.
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It wouldn't be the first airliner that's been shot down by mistake. USS Vincennes shot down Iran Air Flight 655, a Russian Buk shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine, the Soviet Union shot down Korean Air Lines Flight 007, Ukraine shot down Siberia Airlines Flight 1812, etc.
On the other hand, TWA Flight 800 crashed due to a fuel tank explosion, but there are conspiracy theories that it was shot down.
Metabunk has threads about airplanes being mistaken for UFOs, drones, and even missiles by people who should know better.
 

Agent K

Senior Member
Is there any chance there were foreign military aircraft such as drones in the area, perhaps monitoring Iranian ballistic missiles? Like, when the Soviet Union shot down KAL007, they mistook it for an American RC-135 reconnaissance plane that had been monitoring a Soviet missile test in the area.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Is there any chance there were foreign military aircraft such as drones in the area, perhaps monitoring Iranian ballistic missiles? Like, when the Soviet Union shot down KAL007, they mistook it for an American RC-135 reconnaissance plane that had been monitoring a Soviet missile test in the area.
someone on the bellingcat twitter thread had mentioned the plane's transmitter went off before the missile explosion... how they determined this I have no idea. but if there was a mechanical issue with the transmitter and the Iranians checked the sighting but got no transmitter data back, that might cause confusion. ?
 

Agent K

Senior Member
someone on the bellingcat twitter thread had mentioned the plane's transmitter went off before the missile explosion... how they determined this I have no idea. but if there was a mechanical issue with the transmitter and the Iranians checked the sighting but got no transmitter data back, that might cause confusion. ?

By "went off" you mean turned off? Not like an alarm went off. It sure wouldn't help if the transponder was off.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
By "went off" you mean turned off? Not like an alarm went off. It sure wouldn't help if the transponder was off.
the signal that tells where the plane is. i cant access NYTimes anymore but they are calling it a trasponder

Little Clarity, Many Theories in Ukraine Airline Crash in Iran ...

https://www.nytimes.com › 2020/01/07 › world › middleeast › iran-plane-cr...

3 days ago - ... on Wednesday morning when Ukraine International Flight 752 took off, .... and flown for several miles after its transponder stopped working.
Content from External Source
business insider:

The plane lost contact two minutes later, according to flight trackers. Iran's report said it turned back in the direction of the airport and then, an unknown number of minutes after taking off, it crashed.
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https://www.businessinsider.com/ira...instead-too-early-to-say-what-had-happened-12
 

derwoodii

Senior Member.
Im watching the alleged missile strike video and is that 2 missiles from left and right intercepting within same moment?

transponder off so 2 missile batterys auto target system kicked in,, they do rise and hit very fast the range must have been very close


misslex219s.PNGmisslex2.PNG
 
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Agent K

Senior Member
the signal that tells where the plane is. i cant access NYTimes anymore but they are calling it a trasponder

Little Clarity, Many Theories in Ukraine Airline Crash in Iran ...
https://www.nytimes.com › 2020/01/07 › world › middleeast › iran-plane-cr...

3 days ago - ... on Wednesday morning when Ukraine International Flight 752 took off, .... and flown for several miles after its transponder stopped working.
Content from External Source
business insider:

The plane lost contact two minutes later, according to flight trackers. Iran's report said it turned back in the direction of the airport and then, an unknown number of minutes after taking off, it crashed.
Content from External Source
https://www.businessinsider.com/ira...instead-too-early-to-say-what-had-happened-12

Sounds like the transponder was working until the plane was shot down.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/ukraine-plane-crash-was-a-case-of-russian-roulette-in-the-iranian-sky
The only possible reason why a civilian airliner might mistakenly be targeted by a missile battery is if its transponder, the automatic system that continuously transmits the identity of the airplane, was not working and the airplane appeared to be a “rogue” intruder.
But Flightradar24 confirms that the Ukranian 737’s transponder was working throughout taxiing, takeoff, and climb and stopped transmitting only at the time it began its fiery descent. Its radar track to that point was identical to the other earlier flights climbing to cruise altitude.
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deirdre

Senior Member.
Sounds like the transponder was working until the plane was shot down.


i'm not saying the video is real, but looking at vids some Iranians took of the attack on the u,s. base their missiles looked the same and I don't know how easy it would be to fake. anyway if the video is real, then bellingcat people put the hit in the yellow section. the transponder died where you see the plane end.
the yellow lines are the direction the video was taken (I checked) and the length they just based off the sound after the flash distance. although that is the basic flight path of that flight when looking at other days.

image-11-1200x751.png

https://www.bellingcat.com/news/men...-missile-strike-geolocated-to-iranian-suburb/


edit add :that red circle is only 3.3 kilometers. so depending on how fast ascending planes are going it's probably less than a minute of flight time, i'm guessing.
 
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derwoodii

Senior Member.
Im watching the alleged missile strike video and is that 2 missiles from left and right intercepting within same moment?

transponder off so 2 missile batterys auto target system kicked in,, they do rise and hit very fast the range must have been very close


misslex219s.PNGmisslex2.PNG


ah i been fooled,,, i rechecked the video source and read the comments



"We added another rocket to prove that this video could be modified! These days the truth is not necessarily what we see on social media".

2mtricked.PNG
 

TEEJ

Senior Member.
Iranian military has now admitted that the Boeing 737 was shot down due to human error.


Officials said that the jet had flown close to a "sensitive military centre" and was mistaken for a "hostile target".

The statement added that the military was at its "highest state of readiness" amid the US tensions, and said it would upgrade its systems to prevent such "mistakes" in the future.

The military statement, which was read out on state TV, also said that the people responsible would be held accountable, and expressed condolences to the victims' families.
Content from External Source


https://news.sky.com/story/iran-admits-it-unintentionally-shot-down-ukrainian-passenger-jet-11905884
 
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