What was the cause of the crash in Tehran, was a Ukrainian airliner shot down by mistake and if it is safe to fly on “Boeings”? DW talked about it with experts in the field of aviation security.
After the crash of Ukrainian aircraft in Tehran, which claimed the lives of 176 people, DW spoke to two experts in the field of aviation security on possible causes of the disaster and its implications for international civil aviation.
After a few hours after the crash of the Ukrainian aircraft Boeing 737-800, Iran’s government has stated that it occurred due to the engine fire of the ship, and ruled out an act of terrorism, insisting that “no other” the cause of the crash “Boeing” in addition to technical ones were not.
At the same time, the Internet appeared rumors that the plane “Ukraine International airlines” (UIA) could mistakenly shoot down Iranian air defenses. After the accident occurred shortly after Iran fired missiles at two US military bases in Iraq. On the other hand, according to the German newspaper S?ddeutsche Zeitung, citing Iranian media reports, before the crash, the pilots did not send distress signal.
The explosion on Board the Ukrainian “Boeing”
However, a well-known Australian aviation expert – chief editor AirlineRatings.com Jeffrey Thomas in an interview with DW ruled out the possibility of destruction of the Ukrainian plane with a missile.
“How do we know on Board there were a lot of Iranian citizens. So I am sure that he was not a target that is intentionally or accidentally opened fire (on the part of Iran. – Ed.)”, the expert stated. “Apparently, it was a technical problem,” he added.
From the point of view of Thomas, in case of contact with Ukrainian “Boeing” missiles, it would have completely blown apart. At the same time, there is Amateur video footage shows that the plane caught fire after take-off, says Thomas. “On the record visible flash that appears before the plane falls to the ground, after which there was a massive explosion, which obviously was the cause of death of all on Board,” – says the expert.
The ignition of one of engines of the Boeing 737-800
The data site to track aircraft movement Flightradar24 suggests that neither the trajectory nor the aircraft is climbing, not testified about any problems, stresses Thomas.
Currently, the Ukrainian crash site “Boeing” continues to work Commission of the Iranian experts. According to them, one of the engines of the ship were in order, while the other had traces of a massive fire, said Thomas. “We don’t know why the pilots were not able to cope with fire. After communication with the cockpit was lost, communication with them has become impossible,” – said the expert.
At the same time, Tim van Beveren (Tim van Beveren) was a German specialist in the field of aviation safety – in an interview with DW said that the conclusions about a possible connection between the collapse of the liner MAU conflict between the US and Iran is doing is premature. “Presumably, the first information about results of work of the expert Commission will appear after a few weeks,” says van Beveren, comparing the investigation of the causes of the crash from “painstaking collection of thousands of puzzle pieces, which is impossible to finish in a couple hours.”
According to him, the photographs of the wreckage, it is clear that damage to the engine are internal. “This indicates that the engine was a problem that could become critical at such an important stage of flight as the climb,” – said the expert. However, if the Iranian civilian Commission investigating the causes of the crash concluded that the cause of the crash Ukrainian “Boeing” could be the external influence, the case will be transferred to other institutions, adds van Beveren.
How safe is the Boeing 737-800
According to him, employees of Boeing will be able to freely inspect the crash site and the remains of the aircraft, despite the conflict between Tehran and Washington, as required by the international Convention of civil aviation International civil aviation organization (ICAO).
“Boeing does not fall from the sky one after another,” says van Beveren. After the collapse of the two “Boeing” of another model – the 737 Max – in 2018-2019 in Indonesia and Ethiopia from the manufacturer had a lot of problems, however, the relationship between crashes liners 737 Max and today’s plane crash in Iran is not obvious, the expert emphasizes. According to him, the Boeing 737-800 model is considered to be very reliable and is used in Germany by many airlines.
Agree with him and an Australian expert Geoffrey Thomas. The Boeing 737-800 aircraft he calls “one of the most reliable to date models, used in commercial aviation.” According to Thomas, in the world today fly more than 7,000 aircraft of this type and they have a “superior statistics in the field of security”.
The Boeing 737-800 aircraft in the fleet MAU
As reported on Wednesday on a press-conferences the head of the UIA Yevhen Dykhne, the Boeing 737-800 that crashed in Iran, was operating in 2016 and was one of the best fleet of the company. According to Eliashberg, only on Monday, the Board passed the necessary technical examination, which was not noticed any problems.
The results of this test, as the entire history of maintenance and inspections of aircraft Boeing 373-800, crashed in Iran, the UIA now will have to turn to analysis of the Iranian Commission, which is investigating, says van Beveren. “At the moment there is information that the plane took off from Tehran airport with a delay of one hour. However, what was the cause of this delay, yet say it is impossible,” – said the expert.
International airlines refuse to fly over Iraq and Iran
Meanwhile it became known that a number of international airlines including the German Lufthansa, Ukrainian after the collapse of the “Boeing” in Iran has cancelled flights to Tehran and the Iraqi city of Erbil, which is one of two of the U.S. military bases, which the day before was attacked by Iranian missiles
Previously the Federal office of civil aviation USA (FAA) has banned all registered in the United States airlines flying over the airspace of Iran, Iraq, and Oman and Persian gulfs, warning about possible errors in the identification of civil aircraft in the region of conflict between the US and Iran.
“The tense situation in the region is reflected, of course, on civil aviation,” says van Beveren, remembering the history of the Malaysian “Boeing”, shot down in 2014 in Ukraine.
“Flights over regions in which military operations are conducted, has never been safe. While the war was not officially declared any of the parties, but in this situation it is hardly possible to recommend (civil aircraft. – Ed.) to fly into that airspace, says van Beveren. – Because you never know what can go wrong”.