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08 Jan 2020 - B737-800, UR-PSR (38124/5977), FF 21 Jun 2016, operated by Ukraine International Airlines crashed after being hit by an Iranian SAM about 6 minutes after take-off from Tehran IKA, Iran (OIIE) runway 29R at 02:48Z (06:18L) on 08 Jan 2020.

The aircraft was operating flight PS752 to Kyiv, Ukraine with 167 passengers and 9 crew on-board. There were no survivors.

The second preliminary report describes how the aircraft took off at 06:12L then was transferred to Mehrabad Radar who cleared the flight to climb to FL260. After passing 6000 feet, Mehrabad radar cleared the flight to turn right direct to waypoint PAROT (position N36.1911 E49.9780, 71nm northwest of Tehran Mehrabad Airport). At 06:18L the controller observed the tag had disappeared from his radar screen and called the aircraft without receiving a response. Radar data show the last altitude recorded was 8100 feet MSL.

The AIB has been informed that two TOR-M1 missiles have been fired onto the aircraft as result of missile defense operations while the aircraft was in flight. The investigation is continuing.

A video of the flight shows a distant aircraft on fire slowly descending until impact. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRc31DTStwA.

On 9 Jan 2020, the Iranian AIB issued a preliminary report, details are below stating that "unlawful actions have been rejected by conducting the relevant sampling and analysis up to now."

On 11 Jan 2020, the Iranians issued a statement admitting that they shot down the aircraft in error and apologising.

On 20 Jan 2020, the Iranian AIB issued a revised preliminary report which acknowledges the missile attack.

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Statement from Iran 11 Jan 2020

In a statement issued on 11 Jan 2020, Iran’s Armed Forces General Staff said the mistake was made early Wednesday after it fired a volley of missiles at U.S. installations in neighboring Iraq and was bracing for counter-attacks against strategic installations. The military said that shortly after the Kyiv-bound Ukraine International Airlines jet took off from Tehran, it appeared to take a sharp turn toward a center of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps “in the form of a hostile flight.”

Human error led to the plane being targeted and hit, “which unfortunately resulted in the martyrdom of dear compatriots and the deaths of a number of foreign nationals,” the military said. It expressed apologies and condolences, said it would “immediately report the culprit to the Armed Forces Judicial Organization,” and promised to present detailed explanations of the error publicly.

The admission came after U.S., Canadian and allied officials said their intelligence pointed to a missile strike as the cause of the crash rather than a mechanical problem. After initial resistance, Iran said it would let U.S. officials and Boeing representatives participate in the crash investigation alongside experts from Iran, Ukraine and other nations.

The wreckage of UR-PSR in an open field

 

First Preliminary Report

On 9 Jan 2020, the Iranian AIB issued a preliminary report

On Wednesday, 08 January 2020, at 05:15 local time, the scheduled flight No.AUI752 en-route Tehran Imam Khomeini INT'L Airport (OIIE) to Kyiv Boryspol INT'L Airport(UKBB), Boing 737-800, UR-PSR operated by Ukraine International Airlines exited from the aircraft stand at parking at 05:45 and took off from RWY 29R at 06:13.

The flight continued to climb while controlled by Imam Khomeini control tower, then was delivered to approach unit at Mehrabad Airport, and was approved to climb to 26'000 feet. After losing contact with ATC Unit at time 06:18, the aircraft crashed near Sabashahr, located on Tehran outskirts.

The aircraft had 167 passengers and nine crew members on board, all of whom were killed in the accident.

One-hundred forty-six victims held Iranian passport, ten Afghan, five Canadian, four Swede and two Ukrainian. All nine crew members consisting of three cockpit crew and six cabin crew were Ukrainian.

Initially, the aircraft climbed to an altitude of 8'000 feet and turned to the right, when it disappeared off the approach radar scope, and by losing height, it impacted the ground and disintegrated. No radio communication indicating the unusual conditions was received from the pilot.

According to witnesses (people on ground as well as the crew of the passing flights in higher altitudes observing and reporting the event), a fire appeared on the aircraft which was intensifying, then impacted the ground causing an explosion.

The crash site track indicates that the aircraft was first approaching west to exit the airport boundary, but turned right following a technical problem, and had a track showing returning to the airport.

The gathered evidence at the crash site shows that impact point with the ground was a recreational park and after the initial impact, other impacts were also observed, wrecking the aircraft fuselage spread across all the track at the accident site.

One of the Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELT) of the aircraft had been activated, but the satellite transmitter antenna became detached from the aircraft due the accident.

The rescue and search operation team found the Aircraft black boxes, including the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) and Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR), and is currently held by the investigation team of Iran AAIB. Both devices have been damaged as a result of the accident and catching fire. The memory parts of both recorders are in good conditions, though the physical damage to their main components is noticeable.

A special group was formed and any laser attacks and electromagnetic (radioactive) threats and unlawful actions have been rejected by conducting the relevant sampling and analysis up to now.

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