Aviation Accidents

21 January 1980, Iranair Flight 291

Iran Air Flight 291 was a scheduled passenger flight that crashed on January 21, 1980, in the Elburz Mountains north of Tehran. The Boeing 727-86 aircraft was en route to Mehrabad International Airport when it crashed, killing all 128 people on board.

Iran Air Flight 291 was a flight from Mashad Airport to Tehran-Mehrabad Airport that crashed on 21 January 1980 during its approach to Tehran-Mehrabad runway 29 in foggy and snowy weather conditions, killing all 128 people on board. At the time, Iran Air Flight 291 was the deadliest aircraft disaster in Iranian history.

The investigation into the crash found that the pilot did not follow the approved ATS route and instead proceeded straight to Mehrabad Airport. Additionally, about six minutes before the crash, air traffic controller asked the pilot to make a 360-degree turn over Varamin Non-directional Radio Beacon, which the pilot did without informing ATC.

Aircraft Involved Accident
Source: Credit at the end of the article

On approach, the copilot noticed a VORTAC radial crossing on the wrong track, but the pilot did not take any corrective action. These actions were determined to be the primary cause of the accident, which resulted in the loss of all 128 lives on board.

The crash of Iran Air Flight 291 was a tragedy that deeply affected the families of the victims and raised concerns about the safety of Iran’s aviation industry. The investigation into the accident highlighted the importance of proper training and adherence to standard procedures for flight crews and air traffic controllers to prevent such accidents from occurring in the future.


Image source:
By Uli Elch F135-8 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51295117