Special Update Thursday 09JAN: Members, please see either your email or this post in the Members forum, for a special briefing and update.
08JAN: Iran/Iraq Information page activated with latest information.
The cause of the crash of Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) AUI/PS752 on departure from Tehran is not yet determined, and given political circumstances, may not be clarified beyond reasonable doubt anytime soon.
Purely from the perspective of making a risk assessment for operations to Tehran, and Iran in general, however, we would recommend the starting assumption to be that this was a shootdown event, similar to MH17 – until there is clear evidence to the contrary.
Images seen by OPSGROUP, shown below, show obvious projectile holes in the fuselage and a wing section. Whether that projectile was an engine part, or a missile fragment is still conjecture, but in making a decision as to whether to operate to Iran, erring on the side of caution would dictate that you do not, until there is clear information as to the cause.
Obviously, there is also the wider regional risk as indicated through the US FAA Notams issued late Tuesday night. US operators are covered by these clear and specific Notams – do not operate to Iran, or Iraq, or operate in the Persian/Oman Gulf area.
Other operators are free to make their own judgement, but should note that a majority of non-US international carriers have elected to avoid both countries for the time being.
- OPSGROUP Article: FAA Bans Flights Over Iraq And Iran Following Missile Strike On US Base
- OPSGROUP Article: Germany publishes new concerns for Iraq overflights
Images from ISNA, Reuters; marking of projectile areas from JACDEC.
More on the topic:
- More: Türkiye, Syria and Iraq: Airspace Risk
- More: Iraq Airspace Risk For Overflights
- More: Iraq Overflights: A Recent Report
- More: EASA withdraws Iran airspace warning. Why?
- More: US FAA allows Iraqi overflights
- Latest: Emergency: We’re all getting MAYDAYS wrong.
- Latest: Is Libya safe to overfly yet?
- Latest: 13 things we learned this Winter
- Safe Airspace: Risk Database
- Weekly Ops Bulletin: Subscribe
- Membership plans: Why join OPSGROUP?
The photo of “the wing section” is actually showing the right side of the vertical stabilizer. The other photos also show punctures from the outside into the right side of the fuselage. Damage shown could have been caused by the right engine coming apart or possibly a missile exploding on the right side of the aircraft.
hi mark, if it was anti aircraft weapon would it be expected that there would be more projectile holes/impact on the fuselage? like what we saw with MH17? or could it be that the weapon detonated further away from the aircraft? thanks!
The ‘holes’ in the fuselage are clearly visible as stones laying on the metal in hi res images. The evidence for shootdown is therefore largely flawed. The other puncture marks could have explanations to do with other sources of explosive failure.
Projectile holes bent from outside inward, indicating origin exterior to aircraft.
If it was an uncontained engine failure, how would engine debris penetrate the rudder?