The Iranian


email us

US Transcom
US Transcom

Sehaty Foreign Exchange

    News & Views

Air Force One makes emergency landing in Iran

TEHRAN, April 1 (APN) - The plane carrying U.S. President Bill Clinton was forced to make an emergency landing in Iran tonight, after experiencing "catastrophic engine failure", according to sources in Washington and Tehran.

Mr. Clinton was on his way to Bahrain to visit U.S. navy personnel there, after attending an emergency meeting of NATO leaders in Brussels, dealing with the Kosovo crisis. Bahrain is the headquarters for the U.S. navy fifth fleet.

A Whitehouse spokesman said that the plane, Air Force One, apparently collided with a bird shortly after entering Iranian airspace from Turkey around 17:40 local time (13:10 GMT). The bird went through the aircraft's right engine, "literally shredding it to pieces."

The plane pilot and crew managed to put the aircraft on a slow, steady descent from 30,000 feet, and landed in a military air base in the city of Hamedan, 400 km southwest of Tehran.

According to the plane's first officer, two Iranian F-4 fighter jets were scrambled from the base to provide visual reports to ground crews on the extent of damage to the aircraft, and to escort it to a safe landing.

A Pentagon spokesman said that U.S. air force and navy personnel in the Gulf were put on high alert following the incident although there have been no indications of any military moves by U.S. forces in the area.

Iranian aircraft engineers and technicians are said to be examining the plane and have plans for replacing the entire right engine in 48 hours, to permit a flight back to Europe for more extensive repairs, if needed. Two spare engines have been flown to Hamedan from Tehran.

According to the Iranian news agency, IRNA, immediately following the landing, the Iranian government dispatched a jet to Hamedan to transfer Mr. Clinton and his company to Tehran.

The U.S. President is said to be spending the night at the Niavaran guest complex, formerly a palace of the Shah of Iran, in Tehran.

Unusually heavy security measures were witnessed in Tehran after the arrival of Mr. Clinton's jet. The area around the palace was cordoned off for miles, and Mr. Clinton and those accompanying him were flown to the palace grounds by several army helicopters from Tehran's Mehrabad airport.

Mr. Clinton has been in constant satellite phone contact with the Whitehouse and according to his spokesman, is in good health and spirits.

The Iranian government appears to have been at a loss as to the right course of action following this event. No reports of official contacts between the two sides have yet surfaced, although several officials from the Iranian foreign ministry were reportedly on hand to greet the Clinton party upon landing in Tehran.

However an Iranian government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, stated that the incident had caught the Tehran leadership by surprise, especially considering that news of it had been distributed on April fools day by a well known clown.

(c) Copyright 1999 Alliance Press Network


Copyright © 1997 Abadan Publishing Co. All Rights Reserved. May not be duplicated or distributed in any form

 MIS Internet Services

Web Site Design by
Multimedia Internet Services, Inc

 GPG Internet server

Internet server by
Global Publishing Group.