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Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2002 1:01 am

Iran Trip Part 2 THR-MHD On IR

Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:45 am

Tehran, Iran to Mashhad, Iran
THR-MHD on Iran Air Tours

After a couple of days in Qom our group returned to Tehran to make the trip to the holy city of Mashhad. Tehran is a teeming metropolis with some really amazing features such roadside canals that take melted ice from the mountains and rain and provide irrigation for the roadside trees. So far on the trip our experiences with the people of Iran were tremendously positive. They were smart, educated and worldly as well exceptional hosts. It was still cool in Tehran but spring-like weather was starting to warm up the region. Our driver made his way through the jammed streets toward Mehrabad Airport, now only used for domestic flights and Hajj charters. We passed “Azadi” Square (Freedom).

Azadi Square by Kazim R Alikhan, on Flickr

Tuesday February 24, 2009
Mehrabad airport is an outdated relic from a different era but still I found some intangible charm in the old girl.

THR Term_016 by Kazim R Alikhan, on Flickr

I was very reluctant to snap any photos in the terminal as I didn’t know what the stance was of the authorities. Our check-in was smooth and we made our way to the departure area. An interesting quirk is that the men’s and women’s security lines are so segregated that they are in separate sections of the terminal.

The departure area is pretty sparse with just a couple of small food outlets and a smoking room. There was a lounge tucked away in the far corner.
Our aircraft was at a remote stand so we would have to use the special transport to take use there since I was travelling with a wheelchair pax.
Boarding call was made and boarding commenced, I had to go to a separate exit where the lift van was waiting. I rolled the wheelchair onto the ramp and into the back of this truck along with. I strapped in the chair and peered out the window as the truck made its way to our remote stand. During this I saw close up several TU-154Ms and was hoping that one of them would be our aircraft to Mashhad. Well my hope was answered as the truck pulled up to the L1 door of EP-MCS and began lifting to align the ramp with the door.

Iran Air Tours
Type: TU-154M
Capt.: N/A
F/O: N/A
Cabin Crew: 14
Pax Load: 358
Sector Distance: 480 nm
Seat: 4A
ETD: 13:00 L
ATD: 13:17 L
Departure Rwy: 29
ETA: 14:40 L
ATA: 14:45 L
Arrival Rwy: 31R
Block Time: 1:10
Actual Airborne Time: 1:22
FL: 330
Mach: N/A
Fuel: N/A
Meal Service: Lunch

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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Tiyam

Boarding the Tupolev

THR TU154_017 by Kazim R Alikhan, on Flickr

Once inside we were greeted by the captain and first officer who had seen us pull up.
The cabin staff was young and the female F/As extremely attractive. Since we were the last to board the doors were quickly shut and the F/As began the safety demonstration in Farsi.
I wasn’t paying any attention as I was like a little kid taking in the whole experience of being on a Russian aircraft. I noticed that many of the signs onboard were in Russian and Farsi.

The engines spooled up and we began the short taxi to Rwy. 29
I guess the pilot was former IAF because as we had barely even lined up the runway when he hit the throttle and roared down the runway. The sound of the engines was intoxicating as they rumbled like a vintage muscle car.

Hazy Tehran below

THR TU154_018 by Kazim R Alikhan, on Flickr

I had a nice view of the Iranian landscape below as we crossed the Elburz Mountains.
Shortly after the ‘fasten seatbelts’ sign was extinguished the F/As passed out lunch boxes as part of the lunch service.
Lunch consisted of a Kebab burger, cheese-n-crackers, and a chocolate bar.

Surprisingly the sandwich was warm and fairly substantial as well. The F/A’s were efficient yet very quiet and reserved. Shortly after the service I could feel the aircraft slowing a touch and dropping altitude… after so many flights, one gets used to noticing small variations in engine noise and altitude changes.

We began our descent Southwest of Mashhad and flew east of the city before turning back towards the airport. We touched down on landed on 31R at 14:45 L, 5 minutes behind schedule. It was a clear afternoon in Mashhad with a temperature of 7C.

There are no jetways at Shahid Hashemi Nejad airport so we pulled in beside a row of Iran Air Tours TU-154Ms.

MHD TU154_019 by Kazim R Alikhan, on Flickr

Nose shot from the Lift Truck

MHD TU154_020 by Kazim R Alikhan, on Flickr


MHD TU154_021 by Kazim R Alikhan, on Flickr

I had to wait until everyone had deplaned before the lift truck came to take me and my father to the terminal. Our baggage was promptly delivered to the carosiel and we made our way outside to meet the guides/transportation for our stay in the Holy city of Mashhad.

Drive to the hotel

MHD Road_023 by Kazim R Alikhan, on Flickr

Comments/Feedback appreciated.


[Edited 2011-02-11 20:03:25]
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Posts: 1923
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 6:00 pm

RE: Iran Trip Part 2 THR-MHD On IR

Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:53 pm

Nice report, I envy you for visiting a county I'd love to see and flying on an aircraft I have admired for years! I was very interested to notice that the Tupolev carried 14 crew? Captain, FO, flight engineer, navigator(?) and 10 cabin crew?! Interesting!
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:34 am

RE: Iran Trip Part 2 THR-MHD On IR

Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:58 am

Hi..Really enjoyed your trip report! Ishare with you your slight reluctance at taking pics within the terminal,though I guess as long as it wasn't directed at security things would have been OK.Would love to have a spin on a TU154 but doubt that will ever happen down here in Australia.Iran is one place I would love to visit,I remember another TR from some time back of a group of young people being in Iran and the report from that is that the Iranian peopleare really warm and freindly.
All up a great report and your pics are excellent..well done!!
Posts: 1475
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 4:17 am

RE: Iran Trip Part 2 THR-MHD On IR

Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:25 am

Great TR and how lucky to be able to fly the TU154M !!!

A paxload of 358 ? this, surely, cannot be correct...

Just read in part 3, you were able to fly the 707 as well: must have been a trip of a lifetime !!!
don't throw away tomorrow !
Posts: 9206
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 5:49 am

RE: Iran Trip Part 2 THR-MHD On IR

Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:29 am

Quoting MH017 (Reply 3):
A paxload of 358 ? this, surely, cannot be correct...

Yes, I was thinking just the same thing; one hell of a load factor, though!

You were very lucky to get a flight on the Tu-154, because I think the Iranian authorities have now grounded them.
Topic Author
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Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2002 1:01 am

RE: Iran Trip Part 2 THR-MHD On IR

Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:34 pm

LOL Yes indeed quite load factor!  
Looks like I made a copy/paste error.

Cabin crew should be 4 (not including the flight deck)
Pax Load was 85
Topic Author
Posts: 1416
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2002 1:01 am

RE: Iran Trip Part 2 THR-MHD On IR

Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:48 pm

Added a shot of the Safety Card

IR Safety1 by Kazim R Alikhan, on Flickr
Posts: 464
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 8:50 pm

RE: Iran Trip Part 2 THR-MHD On IR

Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:54 pm

nice trip report
u are right, i found in the 2 times i was in Iran people are very nice and kind to foreign
Going to read the next 2 trip reports

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