Black-Box of Crashed Tupolev Plane Found
Iranian search teams have found the "black box" of the Tupolev-154 plane, which crashed on the mountains near the western city of Khorramabad in the Lorestan province on February 12, killing all 119 people on board.
Lorestan Deputy Governor Manouchehr Gholamhossein Goudarzi said on Wednesday that the black box was found on the mountains of Sefid Kouh. The plane's cockpit voice recorder that recorded conversations of the pilot was found days after the crash, IRNA reported.
The Tupolev was on a domestic flight to Khorramabad from Tehran when it disappeared from radar screens about half an hour following take-off. The incident immediately triggered harsh criticism from many members of parliament and has led to the resignation of Iran’s Transport Minister, Ahmad Khorram.
A new head for the Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) was named earlier this week.
Media reports on Saturday cited Khorram as having said that that CAO had finalized agreements for the purchase of 10 Airbuses and that another was in the pipeline for the purchase of 20 second-hand ones which "is expected to be finalized within the forthcoming two months”.
The move is in the context of Iran's plans to gradually phase out chartered Russian-made Yakolov and Tupolev aircrafts from the country's domestic fleet and replace them with brand new airliners.
"Since the leasing of Tupolev and Yakolov aircraft is uneconomical, we are intending to take them gradually out of Iran's aviation fleet and replace them with new planes in the initial stage," Khorram was cited as saying.
He added that the Iranian parliament had allocated Dlrs 500 million for renovation of the country's aviation fleet during the year 1381 (March 21, 2002-March 21, 2003).
Iran's commercial airline fleet is mainly comprised of American-made Boeings purchased before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. United States unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran have obstructed proper maintenance for these planes thus forcing the CAO to turn to Russian planes. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)