176 Killed In 737-800 Crash (Updated)


All 167 passengers and nine crew members onboard Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 were killed when the Boeing 737-800 NG crashed near the Iranian capital of Tehran on Wednesday morning. The accident occurred just after the aircraft departed from Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) for Boryspil International Airport (KBP) in Kyiv, Ukraine, at approximately 6:10 a.m. local time. After the crash, the airline suspended flights to Tehran “until further notice.”

It was initially reported that the aircraft experienced mechanical issues including a possible engine fire prior to the accident and that no emergency communications were received. The flight crew has been identified as captain Volodymyr Gaponenko, instructor pilot Oleksiy Naumkin and first officer Serhii Khomenko. According to Ukraine International Airlines, Gaponenko had 11,600 hours on Boeing 737 aircraft including 5,500 hours as captain, Naumkin had 12,000 hours on 737s including 6,600 hours as captain, and Khomenko had 7,600 hours on the type.

The aircraft was built in 2016 and its last scheduled maintenance took place on Jan. 6, 2020. The cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder have been recovered, but the head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Authority, Ali Abedzadeh, reportedly told an Iranian news agency that Boeing and the U.S. will not be given access to them and that the U.S. would not be involved in any part of the investigation.

“Investigation will be conducted with the involvement of the aviation authorities of Ukraine, Iran, representatives of the Boeing manufacturer, the airline, and the National Bureau of Air Accidents Investigation of Ukraine,” Ukraine International Airlines said in a statement. “The airline will inform about the progress of the investigation and the causes of the tragic event as soon as they are identified.”

The crash occurred shortly after the FAA issued a notice prohibiting U.S. commercial flights over Iran, Iraq, the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman following Iranian missile strikes on two Iraqi bases that house U.S. troops on Tuesday. Other airlines including Qantas, LOT and Air France have announced that they have either suspended or rerouted flights over Iran and Iraq due to the conflict.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Other AVwebflash Articles


  1. If it went nose/in, it would have the whole airframe in a big hole; if they had a major problem and hit the ground attempting to land there would be larger pieces in a debris field in a general line. The only pictures I’ve seen look to show a wide debris field with lots of relatively small pieces — which means the plane may have had a catastrophic issue in air. 737s don’t just blow up in the air — which leaves some really scary story lines.

  2. OPSGROUP this morning asserted that while the cause of this crash has not yet been determined, for risk assessment purposes they “recommend the starting assumption to be that this was a shootdown event similar to MH17.”

    • John mentioned the MH17 shoot down.
      Some time ago, there was circulated a video of how that plane was shot down – this was to show the court in The Hague that the Russians did not fire the missile, but the Ukrainians did.
      Did anyone see if that court case was resolved?

  3. 100% of the evidence supports it having been a shoot down.
    The SAM missile crew was on high alert for anything above them that they couldn’t identify.
    The rush to bulldoze the crash site clean was obviously to hide the evidence.
    That was a risky night for any airline to be flying out of that region.