Caspian Airlines MD83 Overruns Runway; All Passengers Safe

An aging Iranian passenger plane belonging to Caspian Airlines, which was carrying 136 and eight crew members on board, skidded off Runway 13 onto a nearby street in the Iranian city of Mahshahr.

Photo by FAAS News.

According to the authorities, two people suffered injuries in this incident involving a McDonnell Douglas MD-83. The aircraft had flown around 380 miles (611km) from the Iranian capital of Tehran to Mahshahr before landing on its belly. All the 144 people on board are said to be safe. The aircraft which crashed was 25.5 years old, and it was operated by six other airlines before it made its way to Caspian Airlines in 2012.

The McDonnell Douglas MD-80 is a series of twin-engine, short to medium range, single-aisle commercial jetliners. The MD-80 series was introduced into commercial service on October 10, 1980.

Caspian Airlines was established in 1993 with it’s headquarters in Tehran. Its main base is Mehrabad International Airport. The airline currently operates a fleet of three Boeing 737-400s, a 737-100FSCD, a 747-200F, one McDonnell Douglas MD-82 and five MD-83s.

A video from Iran’s Civil Aviation shows how passengers, exited the aircraft with their carry-on baggage out of a door near the cockpit and another over the plane's wing. Furthermore, a flight attendant was seen shouting at passengers to calmly walk away as another crew member joined her on the wing.

Iran's Civil Aviation Organisation said an investigation was under way.

A provincial aviation official was quoted saying that the pilot "landed the aircraft too late and this caused him to miss the runway".

Iran Civil Aviation has had a bad safety record in the past and most Iranian airlines are banned from using EU airspace over safety concerns. Iran did have plans to upgrade its ageing fleet after years of sanctions were lifted as part of the 2015 nuclear deal signed with world powers. However, the US Treasury revoked licences for companies to sell passenger aircraft to Iran after the US President Donald Trump left the agreement in 2018. This made it difficult for airlines to not only buy new aircraft but also to procure spare parts for the maintenance of the current fleet.

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