“Iran is refusing to hand over the black box of the doomed Ukrainian airliner to Boeing amid an investigation into what caused the crash that killed all 176 people aboard the flight out of Tehran early Wednesday, according to a report.”
UPDATE: A friend on Facebook comments:
Following the story of Ukrainian International Airlines 752 is exceptionally interesting. The Kyiv-bound aircraft crashed approximately three minutes after departure from Tehran yesterday, nearly concurrent with the conclusion of the Iranian ballistic-missile attacks on American forces in Iraq. There is no readily available reason why it would have crashed. The aircraft was a late-model Boeing 737-800, well known and understood; and UIA is a safe airline cleared to fly throughout Europe and North America. Nevertheless all aboard UIA 752 are dead: nearly 190 souls.
Why? Well, Iranian authorities, and apparently Ukrainian as well, are blaming mechanical issues. It’s a catch-all term in this case describing a series of events that are exceptionally unlikely, including most notably the aircraft transponder’s abrupt cessation of activity at about 8,000 feet following an entirely normal departure and ascent; and the aircraft’s recorded descent consumed in a fireball.
Neither of these outcomes are at all within range of ordinary possibility.
One more datum: UIA quickly terminated all service to and from Tehran, which is not done over mechanical issues.
What does it look like? Well. Juxtaposing events, it looks like an accidental shootdown by nervous Iranian anti-aircraft missileers watching for an American attack. But that’s just my synopsis.
Entirely plausible but, well, stay tuned.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Iran Refuses To Hand Over Crash Data, Stoking Speculation Plane Was Accidentally Shot Down.There’s a complete passenger list at the link.