Two Pilots Killed in Iran Fighter Plane Mishap

Iranian state broadcaster says the F-5 plane suffered a technical failure

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Iranian fighter jets outside Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009.Credit: AP

Two pilots were killed when an Iranian fighter plane suffered a technical fault before take-off in southwestern Iran on Tuesday, Iranian state TV channel IRIB reported.

The report said the incident happened in the country’s southwest, in the city of Dezful, 444 kilometers (270 miles) from the capital, Tehran and near the border with Iraq.

An investigation was underway as to what had caused the malfunction of the Iranian air force’s F-5 fighter jet. The TV report said it happened before takeoff without elaborating further.

The report, citing an informed source, identified the pilots as Kianoush Basati and Hossein Nami, without providing their rank. Authorities were investigating, it said.

Iran’s air force has an assortment of U.S.-made military aircraft purchased before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. It also has Russian-made MiG and Sukhoi planes. Decades of Western sanctions have made it hard to maintain the aging fleet.

The age of the plane was not immediately clear.

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