Caspian Airlines Tupolev TU-154M plane crash
The Caspian Airlines Tupolev 154M passenger plane was destroyed when it struck terrain near Qazvin, Iran, 16 minutes after takeoff. The airplane was en
route from Tehran, Iran to Yerevan, Armenia. 153 passengers and 15 crewmembers were onboard. All 168 people aboard were killed.
A few minutes after takeoff, the plane reached the altitude of 34000 feet (around 10000 m). The Tupolev 154 was in normal operation at that altitude. Three minutes before the crash, the plane suddenly turned 270 degrees and entered a rapid descent to 14000 feet (around 4200 m) in just 90 seconds. Air traffic controllers attempted to contact the flight, but there was no response. They asked two planes that were in the area to contact the doomed plane, but these attempts failed too. It crashed about 16 minutes after takeoff near the village of Jannat Abad outside the city of Qazvin, around 75 miles (120 km) northwest of Tehran.
The airplane exploded on impact and disintegrated. The impact gouged a deep trench in the dirt field (a 10 meters deep crater), which was littered with smoking wreckage and body parts. Much of the wreckage was in small shreds.
The plane suffered technical problem and was trying to find a place to land, when it crashed. Witnesses reported that the tail and at least one of the tail engines were on fire as the plane plummeted.
This accident is the 13th worst plane crash since year 2000 in terms of the number of combined onboard and ground fatalities.