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Iran's president, foreign minister and others found dead at helicopter crash site

29 Comments
By JON GAMBRELL

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29 Comments

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If it was an emergency landing they would already made that statement. This unknown is because they are preparing the news.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Maybe things will change for the better, but that is of course, unlikely.

I met many Iranian guys in Tokyo years ago and all of them very good people, they would give you the shirt off your back

13 ( +15 / -2 )

(their)

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Sabotage? It's not the first time that country become victim of sabotage from their neighbor.

-17 ( +5 / -22 )

Sabotage? It's not the first time that country become victim of sabotage from their neighbor.

Much of Iran's helicopter fleet was purchased before 1979. They are mostly old US and Italian made helicopters. Due to restrictions on tech transfer Iran has a great deal of difficulty obtaining the spares and technical help necessary to keep their pre 1979 aircraft airworthy.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Tortoise above....how do you explain the new spiffy US built choppers crashing regularly of Okinawa ?

Are they using Iranian parts ?

Personally, I blame gravity with an element of Mossad.

-9 ( +9 / -18 )

@zib:  terrorist heading

Iran is Russia's partner in war and terrorism, cheered on by anti-democracy supporters around the globe as they wage war against the 'west' and democracy.

I am not cheering any disaster and hope all aboard are well, but expect the Q's, Z's and other anti-west herd members to start spinning their usual conspiracy theories mentioning the CIA.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

sakurasukiToday 07:22 am JST

Sabotage? It's not the first time that country become victim of sabotage from their neighbor.

Yeah, Iraq has been pretty bad to Iran.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

GuruMickToday 07:37 am JST

Tortoise above....how do you explain the new spiffy US built choppers crashing regularly of Okinawa ?

Military flight paths aren't the same as sightseeing trips and ferrying dignitaries?

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Tortoise above....how do you explain the new spiffy US built choppers crashing regularly of Okinawa ?

Look at what has been going on with Boeing, These massive corporations dont even care about basic safety regulations anymore.

Did someone say late-stage capitalism?

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

In March, a United Nations investigative panel found that Iran was responsible for the “physical violence” that led to Amini’s death.

That's only a small portion of terrorism promoted by Iran,

*Designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1984,** Iran continued its support for terrorist-related activity in 2021, including support for Hizballah, Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza, and various terrorist and militant groups in Iraq, Syria, Bahrain, and elsewhere throughout the Middle East. *

https://www.state.gov/reports/country-reports-on-terrorism-2021/iran/

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

They may have found the wreckage...from Al Jazeera update 10 mins ago.

Turkish drone detects ‘source of heat’: Report Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu is reporting that the Akinci drone, which has been deployed to Iran, has detected a “source of heat” suspected to be the wreckage of helicopter carrying Iranian President Raisi.The report said that Turkey shared its coordinates with Iranian authorities.https://www.aljazeera.com/news/liveblog/2024/5/19/iran-helicopter-accident-live-president-fm-on-missing-aircraft?update=2912357

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

For those claiming sabotage consider that over 90% of aircraft mishaps are due to pilot error. So you have a helicopter flying over mountains in limited visibility during a storm. Chances are the pilot was overwhelmed and flew it into the ground somewhere.

True story, flying a Bell 206B Jetranger along the US Gulf Coast. We were caught in a thunderstorm down draft. A Jetranger is not a high performance aircraft. I had the nose set for maximum rate of climb, was using maximum continuous power and the best rate of climb airspeed of 65 knots. Despite this we were falling out of the sky at 3,000 feet per minute. At the altitude we entered the downdraft at we had less than a minute to live. A 3,000 foot per minute impact with the ground is not survivable. Then we hit the updraft. We bounced upwards in excess of 3,000 feet per minute. We reduced power almost to an autorotation and we were still climbing uncontrollably. We were talking to controllers the whole time so they were aware, and could roll the crash crew right away! We eventually made it past the cell and continued home. The rain was so intense we had standing water in the chin bubbles, which worried as as it we were still in the rain with no visibility and if our instruments shorted we would be in a world of hurt. The helicopter was less than a year old.

Now imagine a similar situation over steep mountains, at night, in a forty year old helicopter. But go ahead and convince yourself it had to be sabotage.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Israel hasn’t yet denied any involvement in this event.

-16 ( +0 / -16 )

For those claiming sabotage consider that over 90% of aircraft mishaps are due to pilot error. So you have a helicopter flying over mountains in limited visibility during a storm. Chances are the pilot was overwhelmed and flew it into the ground somewhere.

No doubt the bad westher was a big factor in the crash. Whether that was all there is to it will no doubt be investigated thoroughly.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

One other happy thought. Inside a big thunderstorm temperatures can be below freezing. Especially at altitude over the mountains. In aviation the threshold for activating the anti-ice system is an outside air temp of 2 degrees C or less. Most helicopters do not have de-icing equipment like airliners have. Our NATOPS said in flight icing was an emergency, descend to get out of icing or land as soon as possible. Our helos had a limited blade and windshield de-ice capability but that was only intended to get you to the ground safely as it was not sufficient to permit sustained flight into icing conditions. But if you are over mountains you can't always descend to an altitude where the temperature is above 2 degrees C or higher. I have been in that situation too and it is no fun. In all likelihood the helo used in this instance had the same limitations our helos had. Some Kamovs can be flow into known icing conditions but they had an alcohol de-icing system which is expensive and complex from a maintenance standpoint. Most western helos don't go there, no need (plan your flight to avoid weather), but I can see this poor Iranian pilot over tall mountains in the clag with ice forming on the windshield (and on the rotors, which is dangerous as ice accumulation reduces lift and if a chunk comes off the resulting imbalance can cause structural failure) fighting a down draft struggling to keep the helo in the air. Good times /:

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Oh yeah, the engines can ice up too and stop working. Happy days.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

No doubt the bad westher was a big factor in the crash. Whether that was all there is to it will no doubt be investigated thoroughly.

I have been in that poor pilot's situation. A good pilot would have looked at the weather and said to his passengers, sorry but we ain't going flying today with the predicted weather. But when you have senior leadership saying otherwise the pressure to meet their demands is great. In Iran you don't say no to the Ayatollah.

I nearly ended up like that dude. In our case the weather was a lot worse than the forecast. I got real lucky. In my case there was a hole in the clouds and I could not only see the ground but because it was over an area I grew up in, I knew exactly where I was. Every aviation safety course will tell you to never dive into the "sucker hole" as those clouds could close up and leave you blind, a sure fire way to crash. But the mountains in every direction were higher than the clouds, our de-ice wasn't working and we were icing up fast. So I dove, found a highway I knew and followed it. We flew a hundred feet or so above highways to get an airport I knew of where we could land and change our underwear.

That, and not sabotage, is the most likely way this helicopter ended up making a "hard landing".

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Yes we should have turned around earlier but we didn't realize how bad the weather was until we were in trouble. That bites a lot of pilots and not just us rotorheads.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Desert Tortoise, interesting and educational. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

If it was an emergency landing they would already made that statement. This unknown is because they are preparing the news.

lol it's news so hard to know for sure

However obviously i had read elsewhere it was an emergency landing hence my comment

Have a good day

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

First images of crash site up close just released moments ago. Side of mountain, heavy foliage, twisted wreckage everywhere, no sign of life.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Desert TortoiseToday  11:10 am JST

Yes we should have turned around earlier but we didn't realize how bad the weather was until we were in trouble. That bites a lot of pilots and not just us rotorheads.

i’m a fixed-wing guy. get thereitis and get homeitis in any aircraft at general aviation and rotary-wing altitudes and in weather is not something you want.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

They have been confirmed dead - president and foreign minister.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

flying a Bell 206B Jetranger along the US Gulf Coast. We were caught in a thunderstorm down draft. .... Then we hit the updraft.

Sounds like a microburst, and I wouldn't rule this out where the president is flying given it's coming into summer there.

The photos show what looks like a Bell 205, last made in the 7ties...not a good combination, ie old plane with no spare parts and hazardous flying conditions.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

An incredibly long and detailed article by JT on this one, and the instant tantalizing jump to assume an Israeli hit was just weakened by an actual guy that knows more than any of us civilians could , Desert Tortoise, as he explains the perils of helicopter flight and bad weather. How annoying Desert! ;)

Not that it’ll matter much anyway. Those that want to believe what they want to believe will carry on doing the same, like those that conveniently deny the gruesome atrocities of October 7th, and much of the Muslim world will be already screaming at the sky for more revenge and death to Israel. Basically more of the same. This crash will be used for more political purpose. Watch this space.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

For more than one year hundreds of thousands of Iranians have protested against the current government with more than 1,000 imprisoned and others killed. The death of the president will have a marked result on those protesters. The real power, the only power in Iran lies solely with the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Now, now, we don’t know that the crash wasn’t simply an accident. Helicopters are the second-most-dangerous form of air travel after those weird Ospreys that the U.S. Marines insist on trying to use. But the death of a high-ranking national leader coming so soon after the failed assassination of the Slovak Prime Minister looks more than a little suspicious.

A lot of people are assuming that Israel was responsible, but it’s premature to try assigning any responsibility at this point. I, personally, tend to doubt it, especially since Iran has demonstrated its ability to hit precision targets in Israel, so I find it hard to imagine Netanyahu giving any orders that would make him look like a legitimate target for reprisal in the world’s eyes.

If it was an assassination and not an accident, I think it’s much more likely the act of neoclowns not only have long sought an active war between Iran and the USA and also need an excuse to extricate themselves from a losing situation in Ukraine.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Have to love how a thoroughly inspected, NNPT compliant, nuclear energy and isotopes program is made to sound like a nuclear weapons program despite every IAEA investigation finding the claims of it being such are unsubstantiated by evidence.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

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