An Iranian airforce F5 fighter plane has crashed near the southern city of Dezful August 26, killing its pilot and injuring a second person on board.
The American made F5 warplanes were the backbone of Iran's airforce before the 1979 revolution, when it was considered one of the two best airforces in the Middle East. Israel possessed the strongest battle-tested airpower.
The American planes and U.S. trained pilots played a pivotal role during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, both defensively and offensively.
According to Iranian media, the F5 which crash-landed was being used for training and the pilot, Manuchehr Fatahi, who was killed in the incident tried to land the jet after it developed mechanical problems.
Although Iran has tried to maintain its F5 fleet, but due to the breakdown of its relations with the U.S. since 1980, it has been unable to legally obtain spare parts. Iranian media says that currently only 48 planes remain in service.
Iranian officials and the Dezful airbase have not given any further information on the incident, except saying that the accident is under investigation.
Last week, Iran unveiled an airplane it claimed was domestically produced, but admitted that it used an F5 airframe.
Tasnim news agency close to Islamic revolution Guard Corp (IRGC) said that the new plane was a modified copy of the F5.