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Iran crash: Ukrainian passenger plane crashes with 170 on board (bbc.co.uk)
178 points by ComputerGuru 15 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 201 comments

A three year old Boeing 737-800, which does not have any known safety issues. It feels deeply implausible that this airplane would simply crash due to mechanical issues two minutes after taking off from Tehran just hours after Iran retaliated against the United States's assassination of General Qassem Soleimani, but then again there was also an earthquake in Iran just a few hours ago, so I guess maybe these things just happen occasionally? I hope.


What I learned is that the stellar decades-long safety record of an airplane can be ruined by a single fuck-up during service - even when servicing another airplane [1].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_France_Flight_4590

737-800 have reported problems with engines disintegrating in flight, with two accidents, one of them in 2018 leaving 1 passenger dead and 8 injured.

The CFM56 engines used appeared to have issues with detaching compressor blades.

Since this thread is mostly speculation, might as well go all in:


"Does not have any known safety issues" sounds like bit of a stretch, every airplane models has few safety issues at least. Issues range from faulty windshield wiper motors(I just checked and there is such one for 738), to "may spontaneously explode and kill everyone in and out". The problem is whether the prevalence and/or severity of issues are under control or not.

It could also be bad actors trying to stir the pot.

>A three year old Boeing 737-800, which does not have any known safety issues.

Also, just two days after the latest maintenance check (Jan 6th 2020).

I wonder how often maintenance checks are?

It’s going to be hard to remove the suspicion. The investigation will probably be run by an Iranian authority. I doubt the NTSB will be invited in the current climate. How credible will be its finding? Usually in this case a neutral third party is invited (like France’s BEA). But pretty much all western countries are being threaten by Iran now.

Most of Europe aside from the UK, desperate for a UK-comes-off-worst trade deal, appear to have distanced themselves. Could envisage one of those being able to perform an investigation.

I didn't see threats coming from Iran towards the West apart from the ones against the US (and veiled threats to US allies to not join them), care to share sources for threats against other Western countries?

> But pretty much all western countries are being threaten by Iran now.

Are they? If I remember correctly, Iran threatened the US / Trump specifically (more so since Trump threatened to attack cultural sites). Were there any threats to other western countries?

The UK is desparate for a 'trade deal' with america having voted to completely cut ties with the EU.

>>but then again there was also an earthquake in Iran just a few hours ago

Noob question, what are the odds they were testing a nuclear weapon, and how would a foreign agency go about finding if they indeed did a test?

Nuclear weapon detonations (particularly when tested underground, which is done mostly to avoid atmospheric contamination) can be identified through seismic arrays. The system is pretty reliable, and beyond the obvious task of distinguishing between natural and human causes, it is even capable of detecting the approximate origin. I remember reading an article about how even civilian arrays were capable of identifying tests in North Korea, and distinguishing between detonations, and the following cavity collapses.

"A three year old Boeing 737-800, which does not have any known safety issues."

That is what we heard after the first 737-Max crash as well. Then came another one and the same line was spewed all over.

This model has been around since 1998. You have undoubtedly flown on a 737-800 many, many times. They are incredibly safe airplanes.


Yes. The 737-800 is a Boeing from a different era. Proper engineering.

But it was built 3 years ago. Does proper engineering prevent future failures if the assembly process becomes flawed at a later time?

For example using cheaper materials, ignoring cracks, not properly training new employees etc.

...stray tools forgotten in the airplane after assembly, metal shavings close to cables... yeah, I read those articles too. However, the fact that the Iranian authorities already concluded that the cause was "engine failure for technical reasons" seems a bit suspicious.

Are stray bullets or missiles considered technical enough?

> Does proper engineering prevent future failures

No. Never.

The plane could have had a defect. The parts could have had a defect. Maintenance could have caused damage.

Or, the machine was perfect. It just hit the wrong number of birds at the wrong angle. Or experienced one of countless random errors that can take down a good plane.

(It could also be malice.)

Yeah at this point no one knows anything except the plane crashed.

What does this kind of baseless speculation accomplish?

What is accomplished by downvoting and attacking people for asking questions instead of answering them?

“Just asking questions”

Exactly, it’s the safest passenger plane model until it isn’t.

Can’t edit this anymore but just want to update the record that I was wrong. I was being charitable but it was indeed downed by the Iranian government.

It’s already been reported that it was accidentally shot down.

Do you have a source?

Official list of victims' nationality [1]:

Iran: 82 Canada: 63 Ukraine: 2 + 9 crew members Sweden: 10 Afghanistan: 4 Germany: 3 UK: 3

[1] https://twitter.com/VPrystaiko/status/1214821876742213632

After a whole comment dump of speculation, why the bloody hell is this comment of all things being downvoted?

Very surprisingly large number of Canadians by the way.

My guess is that a significant portion are dual citizens / have family in Iran.


Thanks for this. Reporting seems to have been pretty bad so far.

I noticed that the Associated Press (and news stories derived from AP) are reporting on the age of Iran's commercial fleet, as though that has anything to do with a plane belonging to a Ukrainian airline.

> Iran’s commercial passenger aircraft fleet has aged, with air accidents occurring regularly for domestic carriers in recent years, resulting in hundreds of casualties.


And a three year old one!


Is there a reason a flights transponder data would just suddenly cut off in the middle of the air in case of engine failure? Maybe really explosive engine failure?

I recall seeing the full history (right up until the plane hits the ground), in other cases of airplane crashes.

Well, if it exploded in the air (which is what the videos suggest happened), the transponder will most likely stop working.

Loss of power is the most straightforward reason. I believe failure/shutdown of both engines would be required on this aircraft to cause that in flight, but not certain. Doesn't need to be simultaneous either. No need for an exploding plane. FOD is a likely culprit in one or both engines. Also, cascading failures are possible, though actively engineered against. This paper [1] explores cascading failure specific to engines, might be interesting to some (PDF).

[1] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S187770581...

> In a sign of the potential difficulties facing crash investigators, the head of Iran's civil aviation organisation was quoted as saying the Ukrainian plane's black box would not be handed over, either to Boeing or the Americans.

Would they hand it over to Ukraine who could then hand it over to Boeing? If not, how likely is it the investigation will be reliable?

There are suspicious smaller holes near portholes of the aircraft debris.

Could it be shrapnel? This is the basic principle of how anti-air systems damage the aircraft engines.

The smaller holes also might be caused by explosion during the ground impact though.

This is going to be the hell of an investigation given the current tensions in the region.

Multiple small holes in the aircraft shell is generally not caused by hitting the ground, and is indicative of a missile strike.

In the case of a missile strike, wouldn't the aircraft disintegrate in the air?

Aircraft may partly disintegrate, but this is not the main mode of operation of air defense systems.

The main mode of operation is to produce a relatively small near-by explosion that creates a wave of moving particles (shrapnel). Shrapnel causes the destruction of everything it touches.

Engines, radio transmitters, communications, and sadly... people.

Does anyone remember how much time it took to nail down the cause of MH17 crash?

If memory serves me right, during the MH17 shoot down over Ukraine it was established quite early that it was a work of a surface to air missile launched by rebels.

If Iran did really shoot down the plane by mistake, can they cover it up by not giving access to the debris?

The investigation is on Iranian soil. There is no access to the FAA or similar agencies. Iran would have every reason to want to cover up an erroneous missile launch.

In Ukraine, there was a cooperative effort to investigate the crash, and it was found to be a Russian missile.

Yeah, that's what I was thinking as well. But others are saying it is possible to track missiles with systems other countries have. So, hopefully we will have some answer.

Not possible for a low altitude SAM that would be used for something like that, unlike MH17 at much higher altitude.

To track it you'd have to be really close. Like next neighborhood or so.

The US has plenty of detection capability for missiles, such as how they tracked the ballistic missiles earlier. As in the Ukraine case, I'm sure they'll be more than willing to share the missile trajectory sooner rather than later if there is one (they shared the Ukraine one 5 days after the crash). I'm not sure how trustworthy it'll be, but that's something I'm waiting for as the situation develops.

Aren't all those tracking systems mostly ground based. But Saudi Arabia and its neighbors do provide proximity to Iran so I guess they should be able to catch it.

I'm not 100% sure. I remember reading this about the MH17 (satellite-based infrared tracking) and assumed similar would be possible in this case. https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/07/how-us-satellite...

Well if they don't release the black boxes or give Ukraine access to the wreckage it will tell a lot about the causes.

It's hard to hide in this day and age with everyone having a internet connected phone. There are already plenty of videos and photos showing the wreckage and the debris field.

Extremely unlikely. With the amount of surveillance I imagine the world is directing towards Iran (think sattelites and radars), I find it hard to believe the current US administration wouldn't jump to take that chance to declare war against Iran.

Happening hours after Iran's strike against bases in Iraq raises the obvious question: is this in any way related to the strikes or a coincidence?

I'm guessing it'll be at least a few months before we hear about the why but I wonder if there will be additional focus on it due to the recent tensions.

We still haven't really agreed on who shot down MH17. It'll be quite a while before the truth gets out - if it ever does.

Who is we? The Dutch led joint investigation team have said it was a Buk missile and they charged three Russians and an Ukrainian. They also claimed to have evidence showing that Russia provided the missile launcher.

It's pretty much agreed on - the public acknowledgement of the conclusions by individual countries is plainly a game of politics.

I won't point fingers at anyone, but:

- A 3-year old 737 operated by a reputable airline does not just turn into a huge fireball mid-air and crash like a rock like we see it in the video: https://youtu.be/xRc31DTStwA - It just doesn't happen.

- Iran declaring it a "technical error" just hours after the crash is dubious/untrustworthy to say the least. We need a indepedend aviation agency to look at the case, investigators from the manufacturer and some experts from the carrier on ground. Unfournately such investigation will be very difficult with the current political tensions.

It happened to Concorde?

Southwest Airlines is, AFAIK, also a reputable airline.

They had two accidents on this type of plane with this engine, randomly disintegrating the engine in flight.

What flight numbers?

The southwest ones were 737-700, but "close enough" (I think the same engine, not even a different variant)

Deadly one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southwest_Airlines_Flight_1380

Safe landing with no injuries: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southwest_Airlines_Flight_3472


To be fair, the USA has higher rates of shooting down passenger planes in Iranian airspace, so we should probably chill and wait for actual investigations to be done.

The US military is (by now) a terrorist organization where the plane crashed, so even Iran Air Flight 655 would be considered a "terrorist attack".

Not any more.

Hey, you're doing that speculation thing again.

Hezbollah doesn't shoot down airplanes full of Iranians heading to Kiev on vacation.

Hezbollah not. But a trigger-happy revolutionary guard, on code RED. Also the mid-air explosion and shrapnel marks in the photos remind everyone on the MH17.

The GP made unfounded claims about terrorist groups. I wouldn’t be surprised if you were right, but we should be careful not to conflate different actors.

Just had maintenance. Could have been someone being lazy and left FOD in the aircraft that finally made its way into the engine.

Could be any number of things, but probably FOD.

For those not familiar with the term, FOD is "Foreign Object Damage" according to Wikipedia:

> The term FOD is used to describe both the foreign objects themselves, and any damage attributed to them.

(Edit: We don't know what caused this incident. Speculation follows. It's best to not form conclusions until the experts examine the evidence.)

It looks like it was shot down with an air defense missile. You can see the plane on fire as it falls to the earth.

Video taken during the crash, the plane is clearly engulfed in flames:


Video of the aftermath / wreckage:



It might have been mistakenly triggered as part of Iran's anti-aircraft missile defense or a similar system. The plane probably wasn't safely diverted from an active war zone, and Iran is already in a heightened state of watchful defense.

Similar incidents:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_Air_Flight_655 (TIL; caused by the USA)


> It looks like it was shot down with an air defense missile. You can see the plane on fire as it falls to the earth.

Come on. Don't do this.

Planes are complex machines. They're pressurized and propelled by a continuous explosion. There are lots of ways for things to go wrong.

A good rule of thumb in aviation is to ignore the first 24 hours of news. There are no facts. Everyone is an armchair crash investigator. And mindshare is competed for with salaciousness.

It could be an attack. It could be an air-defense error. Or it could be a mechanical error. One of countless possible mechanical errors. Either way, it's a tragedy to which no service is done by baseless speculation.

what is the point of this being the top post on HN then if there’s no point to speculation? What are people supposed to be commenting for, really?

> What are people supposed to be commenting for, really?

I don't know. And I don't have to know.

Just because one can't come up with a value-adding comment doesn't require the content be censored. Nor does it mean the void should be filled with nonsense.

comments shouldn’t be censored because you’re personally allergic to speculation

This comment didn’t age well

Yes it did. It was basically just "don't jump to conclusions", which is the correct way to approach any of these kinds of events.

See also: https://dartcenter.org/blog/skeptics-guide-to-media-coverage...

Then we should just close this thread since literally everything will be speculation at this point.

> I don't see the problem with speculation

It's intellectually dishonest, particularly when baseless speculation is framed by an "it looks like."

It crowds out fact-driven discussion.

It's disrespectful and potentially hurtful.

It could be mistaken for informed commentary, in which case it's misleading. (When I’ve done it, the first victim is myself.)

And to top it off, it's useless. Totally useless. Nobody walks away with a deeper understanding. No new perspectives. Just screaming into a void.

You stop because what you are doing is typing a lot of words without saying anything useful. You’re being a bully.

Observations are useful. Even mistaken ones.

Saying "It looks like..." is stating a fact. What else is someone supposed to say if that’s what it looks like to them?

It doesn't crowd out "fact-driven discussion".

It's not disrespectful or potentially harmful.

Anything could be mistaken, even empirical evidence. Even what you think is a fact...can be wrong.

> And to top it off, it's useless. Totally useless. Nobody walks away with a deeper understanding. No new perspectives. Just screaming into a void.

That's you. You're being ridiculous. You're over-reacting. You haven't produced any evidence to backup your opinion that speculation is harmful or crowds out your so-called "fact-driven" discussion, or that what is said here on HN has any effect whatsoever on anything going on with this story. Just stop it.

I appreciate this. I've modified my post.

The Ukrainian embassy reported preliminary information indicates engine failure, and excludes a rocket or terrorist attack as cause. [1]

Particularly at this time, I wouldn't trust random sources on the web to provide accurate information about events.

[1] https://edition.cnn.com/middleeast/live-news/iran-plane-cras...

The embassy has withdrawn their initial statement [1].

[1] (Ukrainian) https://nv.ua/ukr/ukraine/politics/aviakatastrofa-v-tegerani...

How much can you trust government agencies in times like these? With so many competing intelligence agencies, quite possibly sitting on the brink of WWIII, I don't think it's outlandish for an official source to lie, intentionally or not.

The amount of trust put into any conclusion at this point should be minimal, and whilst I understand and partly share the lack of trust in embassy statements, I posted this to counter the blind "looks like it was shot down, someone on twitter said so" conclusion.

They might not even be lying: would it be classified as a "terrorist attack" if it's a mistake by the Iranians? A "rocket attack" wouldn't hit an airplane, you need guided missiles for that.

Then why even talk about anything at that point if you were not there yourself.

I see it's too immature to conduct an engine failure in this situation without investigation report.

That's probably why they said "preliminary information indicates". And the rumors of a missile was probably the reason why they felt the need of putting out a statement in the first place.

Unverified video

There’s a lot of disinformation going on online. We saw this in the recent UK election, there are many players wanting to spread lies.

I just hope our reputable journalists are up to the job.


> Unverified video

Well, checkout other videos of the twitter user for more.

You mean the reputable journalists at BuzzFeed?

Apparently they’ve evolved quite a bit: https://www.pulitzer.org/finalists/chris-hamby-buzzfeed-news

BuzzFeed is quite different from BuzzFeedNews which produces higher quality content. Very unfortunate naming and we go through that exchange on hn every time they get linked.

As we should. Reputation is the best tool we have for tracking credibility throughout society. As a pioneer of clickbait garbage, Buzzfeed has a deservedly poor reputation, and a little bit of brand diversification doesn’t change that. If the Sackler family started opening rehab clinics, it wouldn’t change my opinion on what a bunch of scumbags they are.

No, the reputable journalists at BuzzFeed News, which has produced two Pulitzer Prize finalists so far.



Any writer of news someone doesn't like can be an "activist" rather than a journalist, it's a pointless distinction

Please don't.

Those two things aren't mutually exclusive.

BuzzFeed News is not BuzzFeed. They've won several well-deserved journalistic awards.

That's also what an engine fire / turbine stall looks like. However, a 737 is able to climb on one engine so there was absolutely more wrong than "just" en engine failure/fire.

Hard to be conclusive with that video. Iran's own state media says the engine was on fire. Not necessarily contradicted by the video. https://en.irna.ir/news/83625750/147-Iranians-32-foreigners-...

A fire in the engine is not enough to turn a 737 into a huge burning fireball that crashes within 20 seconds.

Regarding the missile theory: if it was a missle, it was probably accidential. The majority of passengers on board were Iranian citizens.

> Regarding the missile theory: if it was a missle, it was probably accidential. The majority of passengers on board were Iranian citizens.

Unless it was a non-Iranian missile, or a rogue actor.

(At this point, it's all speculation)

Unless the engine blades detaching ripped apart something critical, as happened several times on different aircraft, and crucially, twice on exactly this model with this engine from similar manufactuer time.

Remember Stuxnet?

Pretty sure russian/chinese SAMs don’t run windows

What makes you pretty sure of that?

* Most of them were made before it was even a thing

* Precisely for reason above

> turn a 737 into a huge burning fireball

From a suggested twitter video. No affirmative source yet.

Don't you think it should take them at least a few days to determine a preliminary cause of the crash?

The Ukranian embassy in Tehran already have a statement on their website saying it's an engine malfunction and are ruling out a terrorist/rocket attack (reported by CNN and NYT).

Right, but the question is whether that's a reasonable conclusion for them to have made already.

The pilots of the plane would be in constant contact with the nearest airport during and right after take-off, especially when there are technical problems.

It's not hard to imagine the conversation would involve like:-

PILOT: One of the engines has failed catastrophically, we need to make an emergency landing, can you clear the runway back in Tehran or is there another airport we can go to?

But such a statement wouldn't rule out anything. Catastrophic engine failures can be caused by missiles.

It would take everyone a few days to determine the cause, especially the people spreading unverified informations such as 'it was shot down by a missile'

It wouldn't take very long for the relevant parties to know whether they accidentally shot a missile at a 737. For a mechanical issue, there would be much more uncertainty (although it's possible the pilot reported the issue to ATC).

And even then, "ATC, we have a catastrophic engine failure" from the pilots doesn't discount that the catastrophic engine failure was caused by a missile. The pilots don't magically get to know what caused the engine to blow up.

An independent investigation is impossible in the current environment. You either choose to believe Iran or not.

Pilot should be able to communicate even if engine is on fire (especially then). Transponder doesn't suddenly stop working if your engine erupts in flames.

Aviate, navigate, communicate.

They would have been rather occupied with the first two.

Good point. I concede. I'd still expect them to declare an emergency but it's possible that the event was so catastrophic they didn't find the time.

Its even fairly common, one guys is reading checklists and the other is, you know, flying the airplane.

To be fair, communication is different from ADS-B transmissions, which end abruptly at the flight's maximum speed and altitude: https://www.flightradar24.com/data/flights/ps752#23732569

This is all speculation at this point. Let's hope we find the definite cause as some point.

More important than finding out the cause is ensuring we don’t find out the wrong cause.

We’ll likely never know MH370s cause. That’s annoying, and heartbreaking Dott those affected. In itself it doesn’t lead to tens of thousands of more deaths.

Edit: Never mind! I commented about a tweet that suggested the fireball was maybe a missle but it looks like people who know better agree that's not the case

No way that's true. Missiles are generally pretty small. That fire in the air was BIG, and was lit in the way that a fireball is, not the way that a missile burns.

Also, missiles travel incredibly fast, way faster than that fireball is going.

Interesting idea but I don't think it's true. Unless I am missing something, the "plane dot" is at or almost at horizon level. After the explosion you can see that at the position of the "dot" is something that looks like a building or a tower. Light from that could be the dot that we saw.

Another thing is that the "fireball" seems to be losing parts, I'm not sure if missile trails leave puffs of flames behind, but this one looks like it did. Having flaming pieces fall off from a plane would look like that.

Agree. Rockets are quicker and with more compact engines, not flaming fireballs. The parts falling from the fireball could be the result of an engine fire caused by structural failure of the engine or collision with something (such as a bird strike, although I think that is less likely as it's nighttime).

It’s being reported there was an “engine failure”. I’d assume that engine failure and fire detection systems are pretty good, not to mention that pilots train on engine fires/failure and single engine procedures regularly.

Are there situations where pulling the fire handle to extinguish a fire or shutting down an engine wouldn’t be adequate to alleviate some sort of grave failure?

If the turbine disk disintegrates, it's liable to slice through the entire width of the airplane. This can sever all sorts of connections -- there have been crashes due to this in the past.

It's an unlikely thing to happen today, or ever, but it would certainly account for the rapid crash.

IIRC engine cowling is supposed to contain most catastrophic failures, obviously there have been situations where this doesn't happen so no idea how stringent those requirements are

Cowling could contain a single blade failure, but not a full disk failure.

Not really on an engine failure, and we have two fire extinguishers per engine so if it doesn't work the first time you can pull the second one.

Of course if you have a whole wing on fire pulling the engine fire extinguisher isn't going to help much. Luckily that doesn't really happen.

I thought that because of the embargo Boeing could not deliver replacement parts or provide technical assistance, so I am not sure how they can be involved in the post crash investigation either.

Ukrainian aircraft, not Iranian.

That's a good point, I thought it was Iranian.

Note: while this is a 737-800, it is NOT the 800-MAX Version that was in the headlines for the last few months.

Also, the failure mode of the 737-MAX thus far did not have it fall from the sky in flames - assuming that the video which purportedly shows the plane doing just that is a true depiction of the event. Furthermore it seems unlikely for a 3 year old plane to be affected by the 'pickle fork' problems (where cracks have been reported in the wing attachment assembly on older planes) reported in this series.

PPRuNe’s my go-to for information on these sorts of things but please note the posts can come pretty quickly without much verification.


Indeed, this does not look like good content to me as many of the post do not quote their sources: “report says...” It is better on the long term ? Do you find solid information ?

My guess is that they shot down their own plane. Also losing control of a funeral and having 50 people killed in a stampede. Plus claiming 60 dead us troops in their revenge attack which as far as I can tell had no casualties.

My interpretation is that this is the Iranian regime falling apart.

Engine failure, not missile, caused crash of Ukrainian airliner in Iran: Ukrainian embassy

[1] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-crash-engine/engine-...

The fallout / propaganda from this is certainly going to be interesting. Either Iranian air defense / Russian arms is unreliable or another nail in the coffin for Boeing. I wonder what's Ukraine's angle in all this in context of Trump drama. Is this an deescalation signal (at the request of whom?) or are they trying to burn Trump / Boeing. The amount of intersecting interest is staggering.

Wow, that's a quick investigation by the Ukrainian embassy /s

Well the question is, what is the motive behind releasing this statement? It doesn't really benefit Ukraine to shit on Boeing so rashly and publicly because they're still beholden to US support. The calculation behind the messaging is very curious. Did Iran request Ukraine to release this statement? Why would Ukraine oblige them. Did the US ask Ukraine because maybe Iranians will attribute the crash to US hostility like 655 and they're trading Boeing reputation for deescalation.

Presumably US/Russia/ everyone in the region is watching Iranians skies very carefully post retaliation, if there's signs of the plane was shot down, it would be easy to confirm. If there's no signs, then it can be quickly dismissed as technical error to deescalate an already confusing situation.

To me it looks like Ukrainian embassy in Teheran reported to Ukraine what Iranians told them. This then gets repeated in Ukrainian media, picked up by western media and we have a story how Ukrainian embassy says it's not a missile. I doubt they know for sure at this moment.

There is no way anyone can know cause of the crash unless if it was shot down or bombed (in that case the missile comanders and/or terrorists would know).

>There is no way anyone can know cause of the crash unless if it was shot down or bombed (in that case the missile comanders and/or terrorists would know).

There's enough surveillance on Iranian airspace after the missile launches that every state-actor with the capability in the region should be able to determine whether the plane was shot down.

Exactly. Now we wait. The wreckage will be able to tell a lot as well, I'm no crash investigator but if it was a missile the shrapnel will leave visible marks.

> The calculation behind the messaging is very curious

Social media is already promoting baseless conspiracy theories.

Traditionally, one gathered facts and then communicated. But the world isn't waiting. And those rumors can have real consequences. So coming out with incomplete, preliminary information is better than giving the idiots a monopoly on messaging.

>The responsible thing to do is wait. But the world isn't waiting. So coming out with incomplete, preliminary information is better than letting idiots spin yarn.

Well the idiot in this situation is the Ukrainian embassy. Official diplomatic declaration is very different from idiots on social media spinning yarn. I'm not saying people aren't jumping to conclusions, just recognizing that hasty official statements to plane crashes is atypical, though current events are atypical.

like having a door slam while you try to gently clean your loaded shotgun.

Not related to the Iran-US conflict, it seems.

How many new 737's drop down from the sky in a fireball with pieces falling away? All of this without pilot reporting any issues.

Things to consider:

1. Iran launched an attack on US bases, their AA forces were on alert

2. Flight was delayed for over an hour, this could potentially appear as an unknown aircraft to an on edge AA crew (if they are operating the missiles each day, they know the routine flights)

3. 737s don't fall out from the sky in a fireball

4. Iran immediately reported that it crashed down due to "technical difficulties". I'd expect them to claim that US shot it down if they didn't know better.

5. Pilot didn't report a thing

6. Transponder data suddenly cut off.

7. Plane was climbing and could have appeared suddenly to AA positioned behind a ridge/mountain (from what I gather, Tehran is surrounded by mountains).

In my opinion, it's almost certainly an explosion on the plane. It may be a bomb (unlikely in my opinion) or a missile. Given the heated nature of the situation it's much more likely to be human error on the missile battery than it is to be an unrelated explosion of an 737 while climbing out of Tehran.

If so, it would be not too unlike MH17 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaysia_Airlines_Flight_17 , and also a bitterly ironic echo of Iran Air 655 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_Air_Flight_655 .

>737s don't fall out from the sky in a fireball

You can make this same argument every time a flaw in an airplane is found for the first time.

"The 737 MAX doesn't just dive itself into the ocean."

True, but when you take everything else in the consideration you can guesstimate the cause.

Right now, looking at the wreckage field it looks like it completely fall apart mid air. Lot of wreckage seems to have shrapnel damage of roughly the same size.

Could be e.g. the Iranian's shooting iit down due to hairline trigger Iranian defense (or otherwise a mistake identifying the civilian aircraft as enemy aircraft) - in this case, I would say it IS related to the conflict, even though it is entirely on one side.

It would kind of make sense as after launching missiles on US bases they would have put their air defense systems on high alert causing someone to panic and assuming a retaliatory attack.

Similar thing happened in Feb 2019 when Indian Air Force shot down their own helicopter during a high alert scenario after attacking targets in Pakistan day before.

[1] Use Adblocker: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/iaf-chopper-budgam-c...

Given how many other aircraft depart tehran on that same route to the northwest that would be a massive error given how close it is to the airport.

That is what makes it problematic, but then again MH17 was also flying a regular route.

People on edge make mistakes, and this plane was not flying on schedule which could have been what caused them to misidentify the plane. In a normal situation they'd investigate but this was not a normal situation.

Eh to be fair there were plenty of NOTAMs out warning against the routes MH17 was on. However, the amount of garbage in NOTAMs makes it incredibly difficult for people to parse and take appropriate action. There are some great efforts by folks like Ops Group to try uplevel this space but it's difficult when people are overly broad with warnings for the sake of covering their ass legally. Then there are the situations where two countries are arguing over airspace boundaries, etc.

Yeah. But this was the very first morning flight at 5:15 AM this day, and possibly end of shift of a trigger-happy revolutionary guard in high alert. Massive error very likely. And very unlikely that it will be actually solved.

The plane was delayed on takeoff so it was "off schedule". It can trick you into thinking it's an unknown plane.

At this rate, even if there's no causal relation it will still be related to the conflict before the day is over.

There was been zero independent investigation yet from the aircraft manufacturer, a reputable aviation agency and/or the carrier.

Iran declaring it a "technical defect" after just a few hours is not enough to rule out a accidental missile shoot or similar.

It seem likely that negotiating Boeing's involvement is going to be tense, with things as they are right now.

Occam's Razor

Maybe, but average people will not believe it.

Average people? Look at the comments here. It's like it's facebook here: "off coarse it's fake, ww3 is coming".

But then, an airplane going down in the middle of what is essentially war begs for skepticism.

Btw, @dang. It would be better if we change the title to say Boeing 737-800 just to emphasise this is a different plane than Max.

Is any airline even flying the Max at this point?

I also count at least 2 other people who submit this story monents after it broke by admins decided to kill it. ubsure why.

Imo need to wait investigation because the new elected ua government are braindead and full retards. They say on black is white and white is black for 9 months.


"to act" has also other meanings than just be on stage or in front of a camera. Similary, an "actor" has also other meanings than just an individual being on stage or in front of a camera.

He's not a bad actor, just mediocre. In the roles he was assigned, his characters are more or less similar, and his face shows relatively little emotion, but it's more or less consistent with the macho stereotype he's been playing. Bad actor would be someone like Hayden Christensen who seems unable to express convincing emotion even though the scenes played require him to.

He did really well in Magnolia.


Given the official reports of a (presumably catastrophic) engine failure, that wouldn't be terribly surprising.

Ukrainian president doesn’t know why it crashed, Ukraine International Airlines doesn’t know the cause of the crash yet, but the embassy in Iran has already single handedly worked out it was an engine failure. Ok boomer -.-

And nobody gives a damn about people who might have got killed there, instead puts up their theories on what would have gone wrong.

- After reading the comments.

To top that off they just had a decent earthquake near their nuke plant.... Q-anon are gonna go nuts.

This will be a difficult investigation.

As we have seen with other Boeing crashes, Boeing will blame everyone else before admitting anything.

Iran for sure won't admit it if they shot it down by mistake and if the US shot it down they wouldn't admit it either.

This was a 737-800. The first ones entered service in 1998 and around 5000 of them have been delivered since then. Comparing this aircraft to the 737 MAX is stupid.

My take away from the whole 737 MAX incidents is that the technical shortcomings on the 737 MAX is from Boeing's gross mismanagement and too close relationship with the FAA. It was all profits over safety and regulations. Can you really guarantee that this has not affected other aircraft or their maintenance?

Guarantee? No. But you have oversimplified the cause of the 737-MAX crashes. You have also ignored the safety record of 7,000+ examples over 23 years.

It is unlikely to be a design issue, that should have come out a long time ago. Having said that it is simply too early for anyone to know what happened here.


It will be a difficult investigation if Boeing aren't allowed to participate due to US sanctions against Iran, or Iranian obstruction.

It'll be a very easy investigation: "pilot error".

This way there's no need to dig any deeper.

Luckily the whole industry stopped accepting "pilot error" as a cause for accidents in the 70s. If a mistake by a human can cause an airliner to crash, the processes and checks are wrong and will be changed.

Is there actually any kind of believable “pilot error” that can cause a passenger 737-800 to catch fire in the air and crash?

No, there isn't. And an engine fire does not cause an airliner to crash. We all train those every 6 months in the simulator, if you get that wrong you'll fail the sim check and not get back to flying commercially until you've done remedial training and a satisfactory check fight.

So there is more to this crash than just an engine fire, or simple "pilot error"

> Is there actually any kind of believable “pilot error” that can cause a passenger 737-800 to catch fire in the air and crash?

Yes, here's one (on an A300) where pilot error while operating the rudder sheared off the vertical stabilizer and caused a crash:


There were reports of an explosion/fire in the air, as the plane pulled itself apart.

> The crash was witnessed by hundreds of people, 349 of whom gave accounts of what they saw to the NTSB. About half (52%) reported a fire or explosion before the plane hit the ground. Others stated that they saw a wing detach from the aircraft, when in fact it was the vertical stabilizer.

Hitting another aircraft. See the psa flight that went down in San Diego years ago, they even have a few pictures of it after the hit and mid air fire.

The pilot failed to successfully evade an incoming missile?

Iran used Fateh-313 surface-to-surface missiles in the recent attacks, some media reported they launched 313 missiles which got to they launched hundreds of missile.

But if the footage is real it was not a malfunction. Planes don't catch in fire in the air like that.

But not sure if the footage is old rehashed footage yet or not.

Turbine and compressor blades can cause just that. Sometimes they also cut through control lines. Sometimes they just depressurize cabin in a way that kills passenger.

Recent 737-800 had two accidents confirmed to be caused by disintegrating compressor (or was it fan itself?).

What would explain the multiple holes in the pieces of wreckage?

It was hit or was part of a large explosions of some kind.

"the images coming out of Tehran of the downed Ukrainian 737-800 looks to have frag damage." https://twitter.com/LostWeapons/status/1214803481782915072

If it was a accident, it seems something we have not seen the likes of. Engine failure fits though, with multiple mistakes.

Given it was during a war, it more likely fits it was part of that war.

Ruptured turbine/compressor disks are known to throw, ahh, "interesting" shrapnel. And having experienced first hand how crazy the shrapnel can be from much lower speed helicopter main rotor...

BTW, blade disks disintegrating had, in past, done things like completely cut all steering other than ailerons, and other "nice" damage.

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