Iran Bans Local Airline from Flying ATR after Fatal Crash

The Civil Aviation Organization of Iran put a temporary halt on the employment of ATR 72-200 and -500 models by Aseman after one of the domestic airline’s turboprops crashed into mountains in southwestern Iran, killing all 65 people on board.

In a statement, the organization said the temporary ban has been placed after a general review of the factors behind the recent fatal crash and in order to make sure that safety of those planes will be improved.

After an assessment process at the appropriate time and verifying the safety issues, the Civil Aviation Organization will permit the Aseman Airlines to resume flying ATR planes, it added.

On February 18, an ATR plane, flying from capital Tehran to the southwestern city of Yasouj, crashed into near the top of Mount Pazanpir with a height of near 4,300 meters.

After an intense search operation for the missing flight, choppers of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) found charred wreckage of the plane bearing the Aseman Airlines insignia on February 20.

While local medics say the mountain rescue teams have retrieved 45 bodies, only a few number of bodies have been brought down because of harsh weather at the site of the crash.

However, blizzard and strong winds have brought all rescue efforts to a halt since Thursday.

Families of victims of the flight have also taken DNA tests to identify the bodies, officials said.

The doomed plane was a twin-engine turboprop used for short flight routes, a product of the French-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR.

Speculations link the crash to adverse weather conditions, technical problems, or a culmination of such factors.

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