An Iran Air A319 was involved in an accident with heavy snow on 1st February 2020. The aircraft was coming into land in Iran when it skidded off the runway. Tough ground conditions are blamed for the incident. Here’s what we know…
On Saturday 1st February 2020, one of Iran Air’s A319 aircraft got into difficulty when it skidded off the runway due to ice and heavy snow. The A319-111 aircraft registered EP-IEQ was completing a domestic service. The service operates once daily on Saturdays and Sundays between Tehran and Kermanshah.
EP-IEQ left Tehran Mehrabad International Airport at 05:11 local time, according to Flight Radar 24 and completed its journey in 51 minutes. At 06:02 it landed at Kermanshah Airport, only it was not such a smooth landing. The aircraft skidded off the runway coming to rest in a field.
#BREAKING During landing at the airport of Kermanshah in Iran, the passenger Airbus A319 of Iran Air airline rolled out of the runway.
A preliminary cause of the incident is a rupture of the front landing gear during landing in heavy snow. pic.twitter.com/uwU3l9zKthAdvertisement
— Kapil Patil (@Kapil_Patils) February 1, 2020
The aircraft was carrying 110 people at the time, 102 passengers and eight crew members but fortunately none of them were harmed. Passengers disembarked on the runway via a stairway.
Where does the fault lie?
Although the aftermath was well managed, there were some initial discrepancies over the cause of the incident.
It was first thought that EP-IEQ had damaged landing gear when it met the runway in Kermanshah Airport.
According to Mehr News Agency, a spokesperson for Iran’s Civil Aviation Authority said that the aircraft had an issue with its front wheel. Reza Jafar Zade told the newspaper:
“This Airbus-319 belongs to the carrier Iran Air of the Islamic Republic of Iran. After take-off from Mehrabad Airport in Tehran, it skidded off the runway today at around 06:00 [03:30 GMT] as it was landing at Kermanshah Airport due to some issues with its front wheel.”
However, officials and other reports on Twitter have subsequently dismissed that diagnosis. Despite Zade’s admission, it is now thought that the aircraft skidded on the frozen runway. No faults to the landing gear have been reported.
Speaking to the Islamic Republic News Agency, a Kermanshah governor said:
“After the landing was complete and transferring to a taxi, one of its wheels [slipped] due to heavy snowfall of 6 meters, fortunately there was no problem.”
The governor went on to say that the aircraft was removed from the runway and operations at Kermanshah Airport are now back to normal.
Iran Air’s A319 fleet
As snow sweeps many countries this winter, tough landing conditions are inevitable in lots of the world’s airports. That said, it will surely come as a relief to Iran Air that there was no lasting damage to its A319 aircraft.
Iran Air only recently acquired its A319 fleet. The air carrier received the aircraft in February 2019 from Tehran Airlines. Of the four aircraft that Tehran Airlines had in its fleet, Iran Air acquired three and the other was sent to Meraj Airlines.
Iran Air’s acquisition of the aircraft coincided with its strategy to increase seating capacity. The airline hoped that the aircraft would help it to manage the seasonal demand during the Iranian New Year.
Thankfully, despite this incident, it seems as though the Iran Air A319 fleet will remain intact.
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