14th Aug 2012, 05:47
Join Date: Feb 2012
Iran Air Hero Pilot Launches Campaign Against US Sanctions
Captain Hooshang Shahbazi, the hero of the infamous Iran AirBoeing 727 emergency landing in Tehran Mehrabad airport last year, has recentlyspoken out against the US sanctions imposed against Iran's airlines:
Iranian pilot heads campaign to lift sanctions on import of aircraft parts | Nation & World | The Seattle Times"
Shahbazi has also launched his own website, glorifying hisamazing landing, and criticizing the sanctions:
I was surprised that the Associated Press (source of thearticle) journalist, Ali Akbar Dareini didn't do more research on the currentairline fleets in Iran, before blurting out an out-dated example relating to"Soviet" aircraft. To quote from the article:
"Iran now relies on Russian aircraft, mostly olderplanes built before the fall of the Soviet Union for which parts are harder toreplace".
Where did this guy get his information from? And since whendoes Iran rely on Russian aircraft? Anyone who follows Iran's airlines willknow that it's been well over a year since the vast majority, if not allRussian/Eastern Bloc aircraft (especially the Tu-154) have been withdrawn frompassenger airline operations:
Iran to ban flights of Russian-built Tupolev jets | Reuters
Last month Shahbazi gave an interview with the New York Timeswhere he was quoted as saying:
“Our planes are completely worn out,” Captain Shahbazi said,“In reality, each flight can be our last.”
It certainly seems to be a desperate situation that airlinesin Iran face, but you've got to ask what effect statements such as Shahbazi'swill have on passenger and crew morale? When he says that “Our planes arecompletely worn out” and “In reality, each flight can be our last.”
It would be interesting to learn of peoples thoughts onShahbazi's comments, i.e. did he say the right thing, and was there an upsideto safety in his comments, and if so, what? Or was it a selfish andshort-sighted attempt at fear mongering on his part, to try to elevate hismedia exposure and celebrity status?
I personally think that Shahbazi did an amazing job inperforming the emergency landing the way he did, but I also happen to thinkthat's his job and responsibility as captain of a passenger airliner. I'm sureall other airline Captains out there would strive to do exactly the same.
I feel that Shahbazi's comments to the New York Times are aslap in the face to the Iran Air technicians and maintenance engineers who havedone a PHENOMENAL job in maintaining their airplanes. Ironically, Iran Airpossesses a better safety record than many, larger, more famous airlines outthere who aren't subject to any sanctions, so for him to say “Our planes arecompletely worn out” and “In reality, each flight can be our last” in myopinion doesn't do justice to the outstanding job that Iran Air engineers andtechnicians do in maintaining their airplanes.
Let’s hope and pray that there is some easing on thepressures facing airlines in Iran for the sake of safety of the passengers andcrews.