TEHRAN (FNA)- A top Advisor of Iran’s Air Force Commander praised the high skills of the deceased pilot of the Iran-140 passenger plane that crashed last Sunday, saying he could steer the crashing plane to a non-residential area in the crowded capital and prevent the death toll from growing into hundreds.
“The high decision-making power of the Iran-140 plane pilot saved the lives of many people; the late Captain Izadpanah saved the lives of the residents of the surrounding townships,” Brigadier General Hossein Chitforoush said in Tehran on Sunday.
Despite the order given by the watchtower to the pilot to turn the plane to the left side, Captain Izadpanah decided to turn the plane to the right hand side which was empty of residents, he added.
The Iran-140 Sepahan Airliner had just taken off from Mehrabad Airport when it crashed on the outskirts of the capital at 09:20 (0450 GMT) last Sunday, killing 40 people.
The passenger plane, carrying 48 passengers and crew members, was bound for Tabas in Eastern Iran when it crashed in Azadi township just 5km to the West of Tehran.
Eye witness accounts said the pilot lost control at the end of the runway and crashed the plane into the ground although he managed to take off and fly for seconds.
Managing-Director of Iran’s Airport Company Mohammad Ilkhani said the plane was carrying 40 passengers and 8 crew (including the pilot, co-pilot, two flight technicians, two hostesses, and two flight security guards). Ilkhani confirmed that the pilot was about to take off at the end of the runway when he lost his starboard engine and crashed the plane seconds after take-off.
Ilkhani later informed FNA that the pilot had informed the control tower of an engine malfunction as he was taking off, but communication was lost as the plane crashed.
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