News & Politics

Was the Ukrainian Passenger Jet That Crashed Near Tehran Shot Down by an Iranian Missile?

A rescue worker searches the scene where an Ukrainian plane crashed in Shahedshahr, southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. A Ukrainian airplane carrying 176 people crashed on Wednesday shortly after takeoff from Tehran's main airport, killing all onboard. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Is it possible that the Ukrainian 737 passenger jet that crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran’s international airport may have been shot down accidentally by Iranian missiles? The crash occurred just hours after Iran retaliated with a missile attack on 2 U.S. military bases in Iraq.

It’s not likely that the plane was shot down. But Iran certainly isn’t deflecting suspicion that something untoward happened to the plane when they withhold the evidence that would easily exonerate them.

The Iranians are refusing to hand over the plane’s “black box” that records everything that happened in the cockpit.

Business Insider:

Iranian authorities are refusing to hand over a flight recorder recovered from Wednesday’s plane crash in Iran to Boeing, the plane’s manufacturer, according to Iranian media.

Crash investigators had found one of the two so-called black boxes from the Boeing 737-800 that crashed near Tehran at about 6:20 a.m. on Wednesday, Iran’s state media reported. All 176 people aboard the flight were killed.

Black boxes record flight data and audio from the cockpit, and they often provide valuable insights into how a crash took place.

Ali Abedzadeh, the head of Iran’s civil aviation authority, said Iran would not give the black box to Boeing, according to Reuters, which cited the semiofficial Mehr news agency. He did not appear to specify a reason.

Authorities say 176 people died in the crash that can be seen in this video.

The video shows the plane engulfed in flames as it plummets to the ground. Mechanical failure can be ruled out, but an engine fire is possible.

The crash site shows there isn’t much left of the plane.

A possible clue can be found in the make and model of the plane.

The crashed Boeing 737-800 jet was just three years old and underwent scheduled maintenance checks on Monday, two days before the crash.

Data from the flight-tracking service FlightRadar 24 appeared to show the plane departing from Tehran, with communication being lost approximately three minutes later.

The Boeing 737-800 is the previous generation of the manufacturer’s 737 family of jets.

The current generation, the 737 Max, has been grounded worldwide since last March following two fatal crashes caused by flawed flight-control software known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System.

Since the plane went down in flames, the software problem doesn’t appear to be at fault. At this point, investigators aren’t ruling out anything — including nervous Iranian anti-aircraft personnel with itchy trigger fingers. The skies over Tehran are now considered a war zone and the heightened tensions in the region have everyone on edge.

The black box could almost certainly clear up many of the mysteries surrounding the crash. At the very least, Iran owes the family members of the victims some kind of an explanation in order to give them some closure.