Attrition: Why You Should Never Fly In An Iranian Aircraft


July 9, 2008: On July 7th, an Iranian F-5 fighter crashed during a training exercise. One could understand that, as the F5 was an American built jet fighter Iran bought over three decades ago. Spare parts have been hard to come by, but Iran has managed, sort of.

The big problem is not the loss of three decade old U.S. jet fighters, but the many other older transports and airliners that have been going down. In the last six years, there have been at least a dozen crashes, leaving about 700 passengers and crew dead. Most of the downed aircraft were not American. Many of the lost aircraft were Russian, a nation that has no problems selling Iran aircraft parts. So what's the problem? Simple. Iranian aircraft maintenance sucks. That's because a lousy economy and a really bothersome lifestyle police have caused many technically skilled people to flee the country. Plenty of competent Iranian aircraft mechanics and engineers in southern California, not so many in Iran.

To make matters worse, anything involving aviation in Iran, gets a lot of attention from the secret police. Anyone of questionable loyalty to the clerical theocracy (that runs the country) is not suitable for key jobs (be they technical or managerial.) As a result, many organizations in Iran, especially government controlled ones, are poorly run. That can be fatal for passengers in Iranian aircraft. There are plenty of dead bodies and aircraft wreckage to prove it. It also says a lot about the readiness and capabilities of the ships and aircraft of the Iranian armed forces.





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