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A plane crashed on the way to an airport inauguration due to stormy conditions

Tuesday, May 17th 2022, 4:30 am - On this day in weather history, a plane crashed in Iran due to storm conditions.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.


On Thursday, May 17, 2001, a Yakovlev Yak-40 airplane was travelling from Tehran-Mehrabad Airport, Iran to Gorgan Airport, Iran. The aircraft was operated by Faraz Qeshm Airlines.

The Yak-40 took off at 6:45 a.m. and headed northeast toward its destination.

2001-05-18T000000Z 2060110570 RP2DRIKYPEAA RTRMADP 3 IRAN-PLANE Courtesy of REUTERS

There were 25 passengers and five crew onboard the flight. According to Golestan Province Governor Ali Asghar Ahmadi, the passengers on board were part of a delegation to promote the opening of Gorgan Airport.

One of the passengers was Iran's Transportation Minister Rahman Dadman. There were also six members of parliament.

After takeoff, the weather conditions got progressively worse. There was heavy rain and the plane was struck by lightning, which could have damaged the navigational equipment.

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The plane was around 10 minutes away from its destination when the pilot contacted air traffic control communicating that they would have to make an emergency landing or head to a different airport.

At approximately 7:45 a.m., the plane crashed into a forested area of the Alborz Mountains.

2001-05-18T000000Z 1883723327 RP2DRIKYPBAA RTRMADP 3 IRAN-PLANE Courtesy of REUTERS

The crew were all Armenian from Armenian Airlines. The passengers were all Iranian. All 30 people aboard died.

Earlier in the year, the Iranian civil aviation authority told Iranian air carriers that they should get rid of all Yak-40s because they have poor safety track records.

To learn more about the 2001 Faraz Qeshm Airlines Yak-40 crash, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

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Thumbnail: Yakovlev Yak-40. Courtesy of Alan Lebeda/Wikipedia/GFDL 1.2

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