Decoding the cause of the helicopter crash carrying the President of Iran

22 May 2024

Experts have pointed out a number of factors, including subjective and objective, that could be the cause of the plane crash carrying the President of Iran.

According to CNN military analyst Cedric Leighton, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi may have sat on a Bell 212 aircraft, a helicopter that began operating in the late 1960s.

Mr. Leighton, a former US Air Force colonel, said difficulties in finding replacement parts for the Bell 212 helicopter could be a cause of the accident.

Mr. Leighton said the helicopter was first manufactured in the United States and then in Canada. According to him, the Bell 212 was introduced as a commercial helicopter in 1976, but was present in the US military before that, possibly as early as the late 1960s.

"In this case, I think the cause (of the accident) was the difficulty of finding these spare parts due to the sanctions (aimed at Iran), combined with the very bad weather in the past few days in the area northwest of Iran," said the former US Air Force colonel.

According to expert Leighton, aircraft maintenance could also be the cause of the accident. He pointed out that Iran has had to live under sanctions and is forced to use old aircraft to transport its senior leaders. "The other factor in this issue is maintenance. Whether this helicopter is properly maintained or not," the expert asked.

"I think all of this contributed to a series of incidents, which led to a series of decisions that the pilot and maybe even the president himself made when flying the plane... And unfortunately for them, the result was this accident," Mr. Leighton said.

Mr. Leighton said weather could be one of the important causes leading to the helicopter crash carrying the President of Iran.

"The weather is foggy, rainy and cold. With temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius, you will see that there is a possibility of icing on the blades at higher altitudes. There is also a possibility of engine error, so there are many different causes leading to the incident," the expert added.

According to Al Jazeera, although Iran owns many different types of helicopters, the country's aviation industry is said to have low safety. This situation is partly due to Iran's lack of access to equipment needed to maintain aircraft, including those carrying high-ranking officials. Although highly regarded for its ruggedness and reliability, the Bell 212 has been involved in a number of accidents over the years.

Although modern helicopters are equipped with advanced safety features and undergo strict maintenance procedures, according to experts, accidents can still occur due to factors such as technical problems, adverse weather conditions, human error or a combination of these factors. Typically, helicopter accidents are complex events, often involving many factors.

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