One Special Flight

This flight from Tehran turned out to be special…

Back in 2005 I was on my way home again after spending a week in Iran, working with Iran Air.

I had been flying around filming cockpit videos of Iran Air and this was my last flight back to London. It was scheduled to be a B747-200 to my disappointment. I had tried so hard to get on a flight with their 747SP but no luck. Earlier in the week I had photographed the stored aircraft; EP-IAA (c/n: 20998), EP-IAB (c/n: 20999) and EP-IAC (c/n: 21093) parked at the maintenance area. Oh well, at least I got to see them and take photos.

Morning in Tehran

My view from my room

Then the morning came to fly home. Another beautiful day in Tehran and as usual I loved the ride from the Homa hotel to THR airport. The traffic in Tehran is total madness!
I am so lucky I wasn’t driving… But, in all of my visits, I’ve never seen an accident or traces of one. Never.
Still it looks totally chaotic.

At the airport

Arrived at the terminal and I went through security at THR – Mehrabad Airport in Tehran. I enjoyed the view of the THR ramp as I was waiting for my transportation to the aircraft.
As I was filming the flight I had arranged to be taken out to the aircraft before the passengers, so I had time to meet the crew and setup.

As we were driving out to the aircraft I see that they have switched equipment from a B747-200 to the 747SP!
EP-IAD (c/n: 21758) is nicely parked in front of me as we stop. WOW!

As this isn’t the only time this happened to me during my visits to Iran and Iran Air, I am now convinced they did it for me. No coincidence. The hospitality is amazing. They don’t promise anything, hardly even let you know they are trying to help.. but they really, really try and most of the times also comes through! Happened years later as well.
What an amazing feeling, standing there in the sun looking at this beautiful aircraft.
Iran Air 747SP EP-IAD.
Right there in front of me… So close. In the morning sun..
I was so surprised and happy about the equipment change that I totally forgot to take an external photo of her.

Onboard the aircraft

I greeted the crew and made myself ready to work. Put my bags away, setup my cameras and audio and everything.
As I sat in the jumpseat behind the captain I had this view to my left…

View from the cockpit of EP-IAD. You can see EP-IAA and EP-IAC in the maintenance area.

I just sat there with a big smile on my face and loved it!
The first officer Emadi were busy setting things up for flight IR711 to London – Heathrow.

First Officer setting up for the flight at THR – Tehran Mehrabad Airport.

The flight Engineer Feizi filled out the Take off data card with speeds and limits.

Flight Engineer filling out the takeoff data card.

Time for takeoff briefing.

Takeoff briefing before IR711 THR-LHR

Off block at 05:15z and we departed Tehran and headed north west towards the Turkish border. Once we reached ur initial cruise level I had a chance to read the logbook.

The Logbook

No discrepancies to add in the tech log.
EP-IAD Logbook.

It was time for me to strech my legs and move around.
First I had a chat with the upper deck cabincrew. This area is for crew and security personell and not used for passengers.

Upper deck EP-IAD
Cabin crew EP-IAD upper deck

He was preparing breakfast for the cockpit crew.
I took the stairs down to the bottom floor of the 747SP.

Stair down.

Breakfast in Homa Class

As I came down I was served a nice breakfast in Homa class by the fantastic crew who also documented the event for me.

Author during breakfast onboard EP-IAD.

As I sat there and enjoyed my coffee and breakfast I realised the date!


How cool is that!

Behind me during breakfast was the stair going up to the upper deck.
EP-IAD has the round stair installed.

Stair to upper deck

In front of me, the whole Homa class.

Homa Class EP-IAD

Made my way into the longitude galley to chat with the cabin crew. Great crew, so friendly!

Cabin crew in the longitude galley on EP-IAD

And from the galley… you have the view!

Wing View on EP-IAD 747SP Iran Air

Top Of Descent

Back in the cockpit to hang with the cockpit crew again.

Cockpit Crew

On this flight I had the pleasure of flying with:
Captain: Mostafa Shadmani
First Officer: Majid Emadi
Flight Engineer: Reza Feizi

We started our approach into London Heathrow and soon we were onfinals for runway 27R at LHR.

Approach to rwy 27R at LHR in Iran Air 747SP EP-IAD
Final approach rwy 27R LHR

We touched down on runway 27R at LHR and evacuated the runway into the apron looking for our stand.

On ground LHR

After a short taxi we reached our stand and cut the engines. I noted the On Block time: 11:10z

Oh wait a minute! Let’s see here….. Off block at 05:15z and On block at 11:15z
That means 5 Hours and 55 minutes! On the 05-05-05.

5 Hours 55 Minutes – 05-05-05

Now, THAT’s a special flight!

I said goodbye to the fantastic Iran Air crew and walked off with the biggest smile of all at LHR that day!

Crew of IR711 on 05-05-05

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Tommy Mogren
Tommy Mogren
Passion 4 Aviation and the 747SP in particular. Photographer and video producer. YouTube | Viking Wings

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  1. Love this article as it shows how an airplane, especially Boeing B-747SP can fill happiness into life of those who have passion in aviation.
    Thank you for the article.

  2. I used to work on Iran air’s SP at LHR as a baggage handlers in the early 2000’s and was very blessed with seeing the Iran Air engineers work magic on keeping the planes fly and would usually have some form of speed tape to finish the job!

    There was no separate cargo hold like the larger 747’s for gate bags and was a very interesting aircraft to load; especially with Iran’s own brand of coke. I also got to work on the Syrian SPs and not so interesting PIA combi’s (747-2 and 3’s)

  3. Great stories Tommy. I had flown the SP once only … The Corsair F-GTOM from ORY to PPT probably 1999 or 2000 (or 2001) … can’t remember and I regret not having kept any souvenir from it ;). I tried to fly the Syrian one when I used to work for them but never got the opportunity to. I guess now it is totally done for the SP (except for SOFIA) ?

  4. I enjoyed the article I’m pleased that you had a nice experience flying with Iran Air . There will never ever as great as the wonderful Boeing 747 classic.


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