First, some recent history. The current leader of Congo has vowed to keep this 707 as the head of state aircraft because his father was shot on the tarmac and dragged back onboard where he expired. His blood is in the aircraft including the carpet which was apparently carpeted over, not replaced (a Congolese version of Jackie Kennedy not changing her dress after her husband's assassination - you will recall the scene aboard a different head of state 707 where she still has Kennedy's bloody handprints on her clothes as his successor is sworn in).
But it's proving expensive as the Congolese 707 is in terrible condition. Even after a multi-million dollar heavy check, she cannot be delivered to Congo yet - four test flights all abandoned. The first was over a year ago and by the time they got back, the FE
's panel was lit up like a Xmas tree. A year of repairs and recently there have been three more aborted flights. On the first, an aircon pipe blew and the aircraft decompressed, emergency descent and landing. Next attempt only got as far as the taxiway before the antiskid system failed and a tire blew. Most recent flight ended prematurely after an engine failed / had to be shutdown.
There is a plan to deliver her via S America but more sqwawks to be fixed and a successful test flight must be completed first. Meanwhile the MRO
in Miami will continue their game of whack-a-mole.
In my opinion she's just too old and too cranky to serve as a reliable transport, especially in a hostile environment like Kinshasa. At some point the race is run and I think that time has come.
Btw her superficial condition is excellent, interior very modern, APU (very rare on a 707) is new, engines cockpit and exterior all look great. She's just really really old.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz