Mistakenly Hit Ukraine Airplane, Cowers Iran

Ukraine International Airline Passenger Plane PS752 crashed near Tehran in Iran on 8th January. After many to and fro allegations, Iran has taken full responsibility for the attack. It said that it had ‘mistakenly‘ shot down the plane.

Crux of the Matter

PS752 Down, PS752 Down!
Amidst escalating tension between Iran and USA, Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) flight PS752 came crashing down in Iran on January 8, 2020. The Boeing 757-800 that took off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport headed to Kiev. After reaching nearly 2000 meters altitude, the plane came crashing down at a distance of 15 kilometers from the airport.

Nearly 176 people on board were killed. People belonging to Iran, Canada, Afghanistan, Sweden, Germany, and Britain were onboard. Rescue teams were sent on the crash site. Iran reported that the flight crashed due to some technical error. Whereas the United States and many other nations argued that it was shot down by Iran.

Crash Stirs Up Tension
UIA plane crash stirred up nations because of its timing. Iran, in retaliation to the murder of General Soleimani, conducted air-strikes on US Bases in Iraq just before the crash. Many speculated that the plane was downed by Iran, but Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization‘s (CIO) first probe suggested that the crash was due to technical error.

Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky had called out an investigation in the matter. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau blamed Iran for orchestrating the plane crash by shooting it down with a missile. However, Iran’s CIO Leader, Ali Abedzadeh, affirmed that ‘no missile hit the aircraft’.

Boeing planes have a history of crashes. Iran denied claims of the US and other nations and said that the accusations were an attempt to protect the company. Road and Transport Ministry of Iran also stated that the plane crash was because the engine of the plane caught fire. On top of that, some investigators said that evidence from the site might have been wiped by Iran. Iran had bluntly denied the accusations.

Misfire, Says Iran
3 days after the crash, the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran came forward and said that it had mistakenly shot down the Ukranian Airplane. It said that the plane had gradually started moving towards a critical area of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). IRGC Aerospace Commander, Amir Ali Hajizadeh said that the “force took full responsibility” of the crash. Given the jittering situation after bombing US sites in Iraq, Iran military thought that this plane, flying at an altitude, and in an enemy-like posture, to be a ‘hostile target‘. Then the plane was attacked with a missile. Iran’s military has said that it will work on improving its systems so as to prevent any such error. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said, “Armed Forces’ internal investigation has concluded that regrettably missiles fired due to human error caused the horrific crash of the Ukrainian plane & death of 176 innocent people. Investigations continue to identify & prosecute this great tragedy & unforgivable mistake.”

Aftermath
Iran’s probe in the crash has led to arrests of a few officials and the person who was filming the missile strike. Iran has neither disclosed the charges against the arrested nor the number and names of the arrested. Iran might be paying a total of $150 mn in damages.

A video of the missile strike, first surfaced by American news agencies, suggests that two missiles had hit the airplane. On the other hand, protests are sprouting in Iran. Around 30 protestors were detained by Iranian authorities. The protestors are demanding accountability from Iran’s leaders. They also raised slogans against Iran’s top leaders.

Global tension due to US-Iran retaliation has spiked. With tragedies like these engulfing Iran in fire from the inside and US targeting Iran’s stealth from the outside, nations are ambivalent about global peace.

Curiopedia

Boeing Plane Crashes – The Boeing 737 series is the best-selling commercial jetliner in history, with the first unit having first entered airline service in February 1968 and the 10,000th unit entering service in March 2018. The first accident involving a 737 was on July 19, 1970, when a 737-200 was damaged beyond repair during an aborted takeoff, with no fatalities; the first fatal accident occurred on December 8, 1972, when United Airlines Flight 553 crashed while attempting to land, with 45 fatalities; and, as of January 2020, the largest loss of life was an accident on October 29, 2018, when Lion Air Flight 610, a 737 MAX 8, crashed into the Java Sea shortly after takeoff, with 189 fatalities. Several accidents of the original and Classic series 737s were due to a design flaw in a power control unit (PCU) causing uncommanded rudder movement under thermal shock. More Info

Boeing Halts Production of the 737 Max Airliner

After nine months of Boeing 737 Max Airliner being grounded after multiple complaints of technical issues, the company has decided to temporarily halt the production of the 737 Max airliner from January. Boeing is working on redesigning the automated control system which is expected to be the primary issue.

Crux of the Matter
  • The 737 Max was grounded after a crash in Ethiopia in March 2019.
  • The company in a statement clarifies that it would not lay off workers associated with the 737 Max.
  • The halt in the production is very likely to affect suppliers and the wider economy as the grounding of the aircraft has only cost Boeing around $9bn.
  • “Safely returning the 737 Max to service is our top priority,” a representative from Boeing said.
  • The Federal Aviation Authority’s analysts warned of more such crashes over the lifetime of the aircraft unless changes were made to its design.
  • After the decision, the shares of Boeing fell by more than 4% on December 16.
  • In two deadly crashes of 737 Max Aircraft in Indonesia and Ethiopia more than 300 people had lost their lives.
Curiopedia

The Boeing Company is an American multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, and sells rotorcraft, rockets, satellites, telecommunications equipment, and missiles worldwide. The company also provides leasing and product support services. Boeing was founded by William Boeing in Seattle, Washington on July 15, 1916. The present corporation is the result of the merger of Boeing with McDonnell Douglas on August 1, 1997. Then chairman and CEO of Boeing, Philip M. Condit, assumed those roles in the combined company, while Harry Stonecipher, former CEO of McDonnell Douglas, became president and COO. Boeing is organized into five primary divisions: Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA); Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS); Engineering, Operations & Technology; Boeing Capital; and Boeing Shared Services Group. More Info