An Iranian pilot who recently made revelations about gross safety violations by Iranian airlines was arrested on Sunday, July 15 in Tehran for a few hours.
Amin Amir Sadeghi published a video on his Instagram page showing himself handcuffed by the police saying with a smirk that it was shameful that he had been arrested because he made revelations to save people’s lives.
Five days earlier, Sadeghi appeared on a popular TV show on channel 3 of Iranian state TV and revealed that Iranian airlines put pressure on the pilots to fly planes with technical flaws.
The airline, he has been working for, forced his colleagues to fly a Boeing 737 with a defective break for three weeks.
“The technical staff write in the documents that the airplane has been repaired, but, this has not happened in reality because the spare parts were missing,” Captain Sadeghi said in his interview.
One of his colleagues, an experienced pilot with more than 13,000 flight hours had been fired for protesting similar cheating by the airline, Sadeghi added.
He did not reveal the name of the airline he was working for, but Iranian media reported later that he was working for Sepehran Airline, a small company with five planes founded in 2016.
The Iranian agency in charge of aviation safety announced that these accusations do not correspond with facts.
Due to international and especially U.S. sanctions, Iran has not been able to upgrade its aging fleet in the past four decades. With the nuclear agreement signed in summer 2015, Iran’s aviation companies hoped to fill the gap. The national air carrier, IranAir, quickly ordered 100 jets from European plane manufacturer Airbus worth $39 billion and 80 jets from its U.S. rival, Boeing, worth $19 billion.
Boeing also struck a 30-aircraft deal with Iran’s Aseman Airlines for $3 billion at list prices.
However, following the decision of U.S. President Donald Trump to pull out of the nuclear deal in May and reinstate sanctions against Iran, all aircraft deals have been suspended.
Iranian media later reported that following the intervention by officials of the TV show Captain Sadeghi appeared in, the pilot was released after a few hours, but the issue will legally oursued.