Iran says “human error” in radar configuration resulted in Ukrainian plane crash

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© National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine/AFP/File



A report by the Iranian Civil Aviation, released on Saturday night, pointed out that “a human error” – the incorrect configuration of a military radar – is the key element that resulted in the crash of Ukraine International Airlines’ Boeing 737-800, on January 8, near Tehran. The aircraft was shot down by two missiles from Iran, killing the 176 people on board.

“A failure occurred due to a human error in monitoring the radar, causing a ‘107 degree error’ in the system,” says the document. The poor configuration of the mechanism “is at the origin of a disastrous sequence”, which caused the aircraft to be shot down minutes later.

According to Iranian Civil Aviation, this is not yet the final report on the incident, but the document serves to point out “the facts”. He claims that several errors led to the crash of Ukraine International Airlines’ Boeing 737-800, such as not identifying the aircraft as a liner, for example.

In the first days after the plane crash, Iran even denied its responsibility in the case. After being accused by the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, acknowledged that the aircraft was mistakenly shot down by two missiles.

The report states that the first missile was fired by an operator “without having received a response from the coordination center”. The other missile was fired thirty seconds later, “taking into account the trajectory of the detected target”, reiterates the document.

Ukrainian Airlines International’s PS752 flight crashed two minutes after taking off from Tehran Airport to Kiev. Among the 176 people on board, the majority were Iranian and Canadian. There were also 11 Ukrainian citizens, including nine members of the crew. Nobody survived.

Tension context between USA and Iran

The plane crash occurred in a context of strong tension between Washington and Tehran. The incident was recorded just hours after an Iranian attack on two American bases in Iraq on January 8 in retaliation to the death of the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, General Qasem Soleimani, on January 2.

The plane was hit at a time when the enemy threat was “at the highest level,” said a statement released in January by Iran’s official news agency.

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