Initial Iranian Air Accident Investigation Board report on Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 crash

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“In the name of God”

Foreword

The Civil Aviation Organization, in accordance with international requirements and local regulations of the Islamic Republic of Iran is in charge of monitoring the proper implementation of the regulations and standards of flights in the “Civil Aviation Industries” of the country. In order to identify the sources of threats to flights safety based on the Regulations on the Investigation of an Accident in Civil Aviation Accidents, adopted in 2011 by the government and the International Regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 13, the Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (AAIB) institutes the Investigation of the civil aircraft Accidents/Incidents. After the determination of the Causes and the Contributing Factors, it will issue Safety Recommendations in order to prevent the same accidents or similar events in future.

According to Aircraft Accident Investigation regulation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, accident investigation shall be used for prevention of similar occurrences and should be conducted without prejudice to any judicial or administrative action that may be taken to determine blame or liability.

Based on Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, Chapter 3, Paragraph 3.1, and Chapter 5, Paragraph 5.4.1, the following is stipulated and recommended:
The sole objective of the investigation of an incident or accident shall be the prevention of incidents and accidents. It is not the purpose of this activity to apportion blame or liability.”

Consequently, the use of this report for any purpose other than the prevention of future accidents could lead to erroneous interpretations.

A. The process of gathering factual information and the latest findings:

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), Boeing 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.

Note: A number of victims could have had multiple nationalities, so other news reports might introduce them with different nationalities than the ones in this report. The above list concerns the passport with which they left the Islamic Republic of Iran air border.

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 the 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 to 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.

B. Actions taken to investigate the accident

– The investigation was instituted based on Annex 13 to the ICAO Convention. Some of the initial actions taken included gathering factual information, forming a crisis management team at the accident site, dispatching related entities’ agents to the crash site for search and rescue operations, obtaining the passengers’ personal information from the airline involved in the accident and from other authorities including Iranian Migration Police Office, designating the investigator in charge, and dispatching an investigation go-team to the accident site as well as Imam Khomeini Int’l Airport and Mehrabad Int’l Airport;
– The accident relevant news and information was publicly informed;
– In accordance with Aircraft Accident Investigation Regulation adopted by Iran’s council of ministers, 11 investigation groups were formed based on ICAO Doc 9756. As it was necessary to determine the cause of initiating fire on the aircraft, a certain group was added to the mentioned groups in order to investigate the issues concerning any unlawful actions.
– Victims’ corpses and remains were detected, collected, and under the supervision of judicial authorities were transferred to Tehran Forensic Medicine for identification.
– Flight recorders including the CVR and FDR (black boxes) were found and delivered to the investigator in charge.
– Evidence at the crash site was saved and protected, and the aircraft wreckage parts were collected and transferred to a safe location.
– An initial notification was sent to Ukraine as the State of registry and the operator, the NTSB as the State of design and manufacture, Sweden (SHK), Canada (TSB), and Afghanistan CAO as the States whose citizens suffered fatal injuries in this accident. Ukraine requested to participate in the accident investigation process, and introduced a go-team to identify and transfer their nationals’ corpses, and perform other responsibilities resting with the country registering and operating the aircraft in such conditions, which has
already arrived in Iran.

In accordance with the Annex 13, the investigation team would like to invite all the States involved in the accident to participate in the investigation process.

Upon the completion of the investigation, all the most up-to-date findings of the accident will be publicly issued on Iran Civil Aviation Organization website.

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