The Antonov An-140 is a short-range turboprop airliner, first flown on September 17, 1997. Apart from the main production line in Kharkiv, Ukraine by KSAMC, aircraft are being produced in Russia and under licence by HESA in Iran as the IR.AN-140 or Iran-140. It can carry a maximum of 52 passengers.
As of August 2006 a total of 11 Antonov An-140 aircraft are in airline service, with a further 16 firm orders. It is currently operated by:
Data from www.antonov.com
The An-140 has suffered four major accidents. In three out of the four, all on board have died.
In December 2002 an aircraft carrying many of Ukraine's top aviation designers and engineers crashed into a mountainside as it was preparing to land in Isfahan-Iran, killing all 45 on board. The passengers, including some Russian specialists and officials, were headed for the official inauguration of Iran's version of another Antonov plane, the An-140 commuter airliner, which is licensed by the design bureau. Iranian officials at first said they believed pilot error was to blame for the crash, but later said it was early to determine what caused the accident. The aircraft's flight data recorder was recovered but the results were never revealed. .
In 2005 another An-140 fell into the sea shortly after taking off from Baku en route to the oil town of Aktau in Kazakhstan, killing 23 people on board. General director of AZAL said "After a preliminary investigation we are leaning toward a version of events under which the accident happened for technical reasons" .
The third accident (non-fatal) occurred on 12 August 2005 with a HESA IrAn-140 belonging to Safiran Airlines. One of the engines failed and the airplane tried to land with the remaining engine. During the landing it went out of the runway in Arak airport. Airplane body was badly damaged but no-one died.
The forth accident happened on 15 February 2009 in Iran killing 5 pilots on board, . This airplane was also of the Iranian type known as the HESA IrAn-140.
Published - July 2009
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