Iran fighter jet crashes after engine fails, pilots survive
An Iranian fighter plane crashed near the central city of Isfahan on Saturday after its engine failed, but both pilots survived, media reported.
The pilots were taken to a local hospital, the official IRNA news agency said. It said there was a technical failure in the engine of the Grumman F-14 Tomcat that led to the crash.
A clip by the agency showed columns of smoke billowing from the remains of the aircraft in a desert area.
Iran’s air force has an assortment of U.S.-made military aircraft purchased before the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the Tomcat F-14 is American-made. It also has Russian-made MiG and Sukhoi planes. Decades of Western sanctions have made it hard to obtain spare parts and maintain the aging aircraft.
Iran has a history of similar crashes among its faltering fleet. In May a fighter jet crashed in the central desert of Iran, killing both pilots. In February, a fighter jet plunged into a soccer field in the country’s northwestern city of Tabriz, killing both pilots and a civilian.