Afghan Air Force Pilots Killed In Fog In Oregon Crash


Three former Afghan air force pilots were killed in a pre-Christmas crash of a Cessna 172 in fog in Independence, Oregon. The pilot-in-command in the Dec. 16 accident was 35-year-old Mohammad Hussain Musawi and passengers were Mohammad Bashir Safdari, also 35, and 29-year-old Ali Jan Ferdawsi. All three fought with the American military in the Afghan war and were resettled as refugees in the Salem, Oregon, area. Musawi was training to get his commercial and instrument ratings, and the NTSB said in its preliminary report (search for  WPR24FA057) he ignored his instructor’s warning that fog had settled over their home airport in Independence.

Musawi and one of the other men took off from Independence and flew to McMinnville, where they flew two approaches before picking up the other passenger. Musawi’s instructor, who was monitoring the flight electronically, called the pilot to advise him not to return to Independence because of the fog. Musawi said he would give it a try and divert if necessary. After failing to get on the extended centerline, the 172 hit a power pole about 700 feet short of the runway. The plane’s fuselage was consumed in a post-crash fire.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.


  1. Condolences to these men’s families. Always very sad when hearing of men surviving war to later parish at home enjoying peace time activities.

  2. So tragic. Loss of 3 lives.
    Over the age old mantra of ” I’ll just take a look see, and then if no good, do a divert ,180. Etc …”

  3. There is more to this story. All three had been trying for two years to get their wives and children out of Afghanistan to join them in the US. They were in the final stages of the process when they died. They leave widows in a kind of limbo between the Taliban and the US. Musawi’s widow had been a college professor before the fall of Afghanistan, but unemployed since then. There is a goFundMe site to help the families.

  4. “he ignored his instructor’s warning that fog had settled over their home airport”

    I only morn the loss of a perfectly good C172.
    Fog, after sunset, uncontrolled field, 3,000′ runway, no published instrument procedures, the flight instructor advised the pilot not to return. But hey, let’s try anyway….

    • “I only mor[u]n the loss of a perfectly good C172.”

      You’re showing your true colors again, Arthur. The loss of life here is devastating to the families involved.

      • Lets be honest. These pilots did not care enough about their families to wait for safe conditions. I, on the other hand, DO care enough about what happens to my family so I stay on the ground and sleep in the terminal till the weather clears enough to fly safely home.

        Yea, it’s devastating, so don’t do what they did and actually hurt families and actually not care.

  5. If a country invaded the US, and US citizens assisted them, would they be heroes to the invaders?

    Or would they be sorry traitorous US citizens?

    Just asking.