I flew on this plane a couple of weeks before the crash. There was only two Il-62 crews in Iran (sent with aircraft from Kazakhstan) and all eight of them were on board and all killed. Quite shocking to think about - they went with high hopes of creating new employment opportunities for Il-62 pilots and three months later, they were all dead. Although I never saw their faces, that includes whoever was flying when I was onboard - two sectors on UP
-i6205 (the last Il-62 ever built, completed 1995 and stored until 1999), and one leg on the machine that crashed, UP
-i6208 (an 80s machine originally delivered to Interflug, then Aeroflot-Uzbekistan Airways-DETA-Aria). And they killed the CEO of Aria, the Iranian airline that leased these planes, too.
Btw the cause of the crash was, they were late, the boss of Aria was onboard to see how the Kazakhs were doing which added some pressure. They were rushing (even the en route cruise speed was very high), and touched down 40mph above Vref in the second half of the runway. Never stood a prayer of stopping. Hit the concrete wall surrounding the airport and finally stopped outside the airport in open country. Totally avoidable, stupid accident, more tragic because it was so unnecessary. That was the last Il-62 flight in Iran and Aria was grounded for a year, now back in the skies flying a couple of Fokker 50s out of Bandar Abbas.
I can tell you with absolute certainty that this aircraft is no restaurant. She is like a ghost on the outskirts of Mashhad airport, and although there may be a restaurant nearby (I didn't know there was, and have never heard of one), no-one would eat on this thing. Inside took quite a beating in the accident, not to mention the nose section totally decapitated, and wings severely battered by impact including when the aircraft went through the perimenter wall with great force. Aviation workers and officials in Iran are all affected by this accident. It's not a source of national pride.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz