Iran Aseman Airlines ATR-72 Crashes with 66 on Board

Photo: / Mehrad Watson

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An Iran Aseman Airlines ATR-72, registration performing flight from Tehran Mehrabad to Yasuj with 60 passengers and 6 crew, disappeared from radar near the Zagroz Mountains.

The wreckage was later found near the village of Semirom (Iran) at the Dena Mountain at an elevation between 12,500 and 13,500 feet. No survivors were sighted.

Emergency services reported fog and snowfall in the crash area hamper rescue efforts and make it impossible to land helicopters at the crash site. Rescuers are on their way to the crash site by foot.

The airline confirmed the aircraft (initially reporting ATR-72-212A registration EP-ATX built in year 2000, later identifying ATR-72-212 registration EP-ATS built in 1993) has crashed in southern Iran due to “atmospheric conditions” while enroute to Yasuj.

After the aircraft disappeared, helicopters were dispatched and sighted the aircraft in terrain accessible only by helicopters. Rescue forces are being dispatched on site. The airline subsequently reported no survivors were found at the crash site. The airline added, that the captain involved in the accident flight was experienced stating he had experienced the failure of the #2 engine on his aircraft and had been able to safely land the aircraft in Yasuj in 2014.

Iran’s News Agency Fars identified the crashed aircraft as EP-ATS (built in 1993) based on “some source”. According to Mode-S data the EP-ATS was flying about 160nm north of Semirom at 05:15Z. Iran’s News Agency IRNA however reported EP-ATX based on the statement of the airline, but subsequently changed to EP-ATS.

The Dena Mountain features more than 40 peaks above 4000 meters, the highest peak rises up to 4409 meters (14,460 feet).

The aerodrome of Yasuj is surrounded by high mountains. The AIP Iran do not publish any Standard Arrival Route, only Instrument Approach Procedures 1 (Cat A/B including ATR-72) and 2 (Cat C/D) are published together with the aerodrome chart. The IAC marks the MSA 25nm north of the aerodrome at 15,500 feet MSL.

On Oct 26th 2017 the airline had posted a photo of EP-ATS reporting that the aircraft will be restored to flying condition by qualified maintenance engineers after being out of service for seven years.