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Raisi's death: what we know about the helicopter

The engine had well exceeded 10,000 flight hours

A good part of international public opinion is wondering how it is possible that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi died in a helicopter crash. The question is this: a modern country and protagonist of politics in the Middle East can let the head of state travel aboard an aircraft that would have crashed into the ground, this is the hypothesis, due to a failure resulting from poor maintenance and why old?

Let's try to clarify. Raisi was traveling together with eight other people on board a Bell 212 military helicopter (registration 6-9207) which was part of the fleet of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (Iriaf). The aircraft was manufactured in 1994. According to the intelligence site "Stratcom", the aircraft had accumulated and "well exceeded" 10,000 flight hours.

Furthermore, the aircraft recently obtained a certification that limited its operation to VFR (Visual Flights Rules), that is conditioned by meteorological conditions (Vmc, Visual Meteorological Conditions). However, according to initial reconstructions, there was rain and fog that day. The aircraft, completely devoid of IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) avionics that would have allowed instrument flight, traveled in IMC (Instrument Meteorological Conditions) mode and by sight in conditions of poor visibility.

There are further elements not to be overlooked according to "Stratcom": the helicopter on which Raisi was flying was certified for the transport of a maximum number of six passengers but there were nine people on board; due to the economic sanctions to which Iran is subjected, maintenance was not up to standard; the engine power was not sufficient to ensure safe and uninterrupted flights at high altitude with heavy loads in mountainous terrain. For this reason, analysts exclude the attack against Raisi and speak of "serious negligence" on the part of the army.

On the same topic, see also the article published by AVIONEWS.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency