Monday, October 15, 2012

Hero Pilot: 80 of My Passengers were Russian Nuclear Scientists

Captain Hooshang Shahbazi, the Iranian hero pilot who managed to land the Iran Air 727 Moscow-Tehran flight safely after the plane's landing gear malfunctioned during a flight last October, has today revealed that he has been forced into early retirement, nine years ahead of his contractual retirement date.

Despite his spectacular emergency landing which was captured on video,  see below, Shahbazi was initially ordered not to fly any planes for two months. Captain Shahbazi complained at the time, that despite having saved the lives of 94 passengers and 19 crew members, authorities had not even called him to say thank you.

But after he was initially ignored and grounded, which baffled everyone, he was finally hosted a hero and appeared on state TV describing how he managed to land the plane. Shahbazi then became an active campaigner for lifting of Western sanctions that restrict the import of civilian plane spare parts. He even went to Geneva last March to attend the 19th UNHRC session and spoke to some panels about how the Western sanctions related to Iran's air industry, violated Iran's human rights.

Today, Captain Shahbazi seemed to have fallen out of favour again. He complained on his Facebook page that despite all his efforts to lift the sanctions on Iran's air industry, he had been forced into early retirement 9 years early. Interestingly he also revealed that 80 of his 727 flight passengers in October last year, were Russian nuclear scientists.

Russian nuclear scientists who had become unemployed after the Chernobyl disaster, seem to have done very well from Islamic Republic's nuclear program.

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