2007 Balad aircraft crash

2007 Balad aircraft crash

Infobox Airliner accident| name=2007 Balad aircraft crash| Date=January 9, 2007
Type=Cause in dispute
Site=Balad, Iraq
Fatalities=34cite news |title= Moldovan plane that crashed in Iraq was downed - eyewitness |url= http://en.rian.ru/world/20070112/58977626.htm |publisher= Russian News and Information Agency Novosti |accessdate=2007-01-22 ]
Aircraft Type=Antonov An-26
Tail Number=ER-26068 [http://www.tiraspoltimes.com/node/545 Moldova plane crash in Iraq tied to insurgency arms smuggling] - Tiraspol Times & Weekly Review - Obtained February 26, 2007.]

The 2007 Balad aircraft crash was a January 9, 2007 airplane incident involving an Antonov An-26 airliner, which crashed while attempting to land at the US military base in Balad, Iraq. [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/01/09/ap/world/mainD8MHSIGG8.shtml 32 Killed in Cargo Plane Crash in Iraq] - cbsnews.com - Obtained January 28, 2007.] Officials claim the crash was caused by poor weather conditions, but other sources claim that this is a cover-up and the plane was actually shot down by a missile.


The aircraft was an Antonov An-26B-100, registration number ER-26068. [http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=20070109-0 ASN Aircraft accident descriptionAntonov 26B-100 ER-26068] - Aviation Safety Network - Obtained February 26, 2007.] It made its first flight in 1981, and was powered by two Ivchenko AI-24VT engines. An-26s are a twin-engined light turboprop transport aircraft developed from the Antonov An-24, with particular attention made to potential military use. It has a modified rear fuselage with a large cargo ramp.


The aircraft, which took off from Adana, Turkey,cite news |title= Plane crash in Balad, Iraq, kills at least 31, mostly Turks |url= http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-fg-crash10jan10,1,2648179.story?coll=la-news-a_section |work= latimes.com |publisher= Times Wire Services|date= 2007-01-10|accessdate=2007-01-22 ] at about 0400 GMT, [http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/01/09/iraq.crash/index.html Turkey: Iraq plane crash kills 30] - CNN - Obtained February 26, 2007.] was owned by the Moldovan company AerianTur-M, and on the day of the accident had been chartered to a Turkish company, Kulak, who had been contracted to build a new hangar at the air base. [http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/detaylar.do?load=detay&link=39828 Delayed passport saves construction worker's life] - Today's Zaman - Obtained February 27, 2007.] The aircraft was carrying both cargo and passengers; a total of 1,289 kg of cargo was on board, compared with the 5,000 kg capacity. [http://www.turkeydailynews.com/news/125/ARTICLE/2082/2007-01-10.html Weather blamed for plane crash near Baghdad] - Turkey Daily News - Obtained February 26, 2007.] Turkish authorities told CNN Türk television that of the passengers, there were 29 Turkish workers, three Moldovans, a Russian, a Ukrainian and an American on board, even though this totals one more than the number of people known to be on board.cite news |title= Moldovan plane crashes in Iraq killing 30 Turkish workers |url= http://en.rian.ru/world/20070109/58745901.html |publisher= Russian News and Information Agency Novosti |accessdate=2007-01-22 ] Later, the Russian consul general in Antalya said the Russian and the Ukrainian also had Moldovan citizenship. Most of those on board were construction workers who worked at the base. Brig. Gen. Robin Rand, commander of the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, said "These brave civilian-contract employees were in Iraq helping us accomplish our mission, and their loss is a tragedy," adding "Our condolences go out to the families in their time of loss." [http://newsblaze.com/story/20070116124526tsop.nb/newsblaze/IRAQ0001/Iraq.html U.S. Military Responds to Civilian Aircraft Crash] - NewsBlaze - Obtained January 28, 2007.]


The plane crashed at 0700 GMT (0800 CET), [ [http://www.rfi.fr/actufr/afp/001/mon/070109191419.bgu3pm39.asp Un avion transportant des ouvriers turcs s'écrase en Irak: 34 tués] - Radio France Internationale - January 9, 2007, Obtained July 3, 2007. "In French"] about 2.5 km (1.5 miles) away from Balad Air Base, the main hub of US military logistics in Iraq, while attempting to land. [http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L0988354.htm Thirty-one die in Iraq plane crash-Turkish official] - Reuters AlertNet - Obtained February 26, 2007.] An anonymous ministry official told the Associated Press that the pilot had already aborted one landing attempt due to poor weather conditions. [http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?ContentBlockID=524ea8b9-5b15-4a51-a97d-532772a3b9b8 Cargo Plane Down In Northern Iraq] - Aero-News - Obtained January 28, 2007.] Although the aircraft was said to have crashed due to fog, one eyewitness, a relative of one of the deceased, said that he watched a missile strike the right hand side of the fuselage while standing just 300-400 meters from where the aircraft went down. The man also said that multiple other eyewitnesses back his version up. İsmail Kulak, a partner in the ownership of the Kulak Construction Company, was among the dead. [http://english.sabah.com.tr/716B421A793646BA97D9A62798C2BD87.html Cargo plane carrying Turkish workers crashes in Baghdad] [http://english.sabah.com.tr/716B421A793646BA97D9A62798C2BD87.html The plane carrying workers crashed 200 meters to runway] - SABAH Newspaper (English version) - Obtained February 27, 2007.]

Emergency response

Because the aircraft crashed in a military base, the emergency response was supplied by the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force. Helicopters from the Air Force's 64th Expeditionary Rescue Squadron transported the dead from the scene. [http://newsblaze.com/story/20070116124526tsop.nb/newsblaze/IRAQ0001/Iraq.html U.S. Military Responds to Civilian Aircraft Crash] - NewsBlaze - Obtained January 28, 2007.] Of the 35 passengers and crew members on board the flight, two individuals were pulled alive from the wreckage. One died after being transported by an Army ground ambulance to the Air Force Theater Hospital. [http://www.acc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123037826 Nellis Airmen respond to civilian aircraft crash] - United States Air Force - Obtained January 18, 2007.] The other survivor, a Turk named Abdülkadir Akyüz, [http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=64418 Lone survivor of Baghdad crash to return home] - Turkish Daily News - Obtained March 1, 2007.] was carried by an Army ground ambulance to the Air Force Theater Hospital, where he received life-saving emergency surgery.

Reaction from the Islamic Army in Iraq

The day after the accident, the insurgent group Islamic Army in Iraq claimed that they shot it down via a web site known by authorities to be used by the group. The statement said that their members had "opened fire on a plane trying to land at an American base near Balad from different directions, using medium-range weapons... With the help of God, they were able to shoot it down."


After the wreckage was photographed "in situ", the army hauled it away on flatbed trucks to the base, where it is presently secured. As well as the ongoing question of fog, Ahmed al-Mussawi, spokesman for the Iraqi transport ministry, said one day after the crash that "It must have been technical failure or a lack of aviation experience (on the part of the crew),". [http://www.iraqupdates.com/p_articles.php/article/13368 Iraq blames technical error for plane crash] - Iraq Updates - Obtained February 27, 2007.] The crash is under investigation by the Iraqi government, American government and Moldovan government, but the Turkish government has been denied permission to join the investigative team. [http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/detaylar.do?load=detay&link=101194 The puzzle of the Moldovan plane crash continues] - Today's Zaman - Obtained February 25, 2007.] The Air Force and the Army say they are willing to help with the investigation. [http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=63845 Islamic Army in Iraq claims responsibility for downing] - Turkish Daily News - Obtained January 28, 2007.] [http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/news/16425303.htm Cargo plane from Turkey crashes in Iraq, killing 34] - ContraCostaTimes.com - Obtained January 28, 2007.] Ali Ariduru, deputy head of the Turkish aviation authority, said initial information indicated there was no technical malfunction on the plane.

There is confusion as in to the whereabouts of the aircraft's Flight Data Recorder and Cockpit Voice Recorder (FDR and CVR, commonly referred to as "black boxes"). The Turkish Foreign Ministry claims they have been shipped to Antonov's Moscow headquarters, but Turkish Minister of Transportation Binali Yıldırım claims they are still in Iraq, with the rest of the debris. All that is confirmed is that they have been recovered, which occurred on January 30.cite web
title=Flight data recorders of Moldovan An-27 are found in Iraq
ru icon [http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ru&u=http://www.izvestia.ru/news/news125175/&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=10&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3DER-26068%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26sa%3DG View translated version.] ] He has also publicly claimed that the plane was indeed shot down, although he claims that this was done by American troops, and that the reasoning behind this was that the flight was involved in supplying weapons to Islamic insurgents in Iraq.

ee also

*List of notable accidents and incidents on commercial aircraft

External links

* [http://www.airliners.net/search/photo.search?regsearch=ER-26068 Pre-accident pictures of the crashed plane]
* [http://www.slugsite.com/archives/772 Post-accident pictures of the crashed plane]


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