There was a nasty shock for the airport handling crew when offloading an Iranian B747-200 freighter at Doha Airport on Saturday night. Either someone was not watching out or did not read the manual for offloading a freighter of this size.
Ended up on its tail
The aircraft, a B747-281B freighter belonging to the Iranian carrier Fars Air Qeshm had positioned from the Armenian airport of Yerevan to Doha where offloading began.
It seems that whoever was in charge of the offloading forgot that one has to take the centre of gravity of the freighter into consideration and offload rear positions first.
The contrary was the case. The crew started offloading pallets from the front cargo door and that’s where the trouble started. Somewhere during the process the aircraft which was by this time “completely tail heavy“ decided to sit itself on its tail. There was no stopping the movement and luckily nobody was hurt although as the attached photo shows, the aircraft is looking into the sky.
It is Far Air Qeshm’s only serviceable B747F and it is unclear as to what damage has been done and how long it will take to repair it - if at all.
The carrier has often been accused of carrying weapons on behalf of the Iranian military to support the Iranian Hezbollah fighters operating in Syria. It was so far not disclosed whether the cargo on board was of a military nature.
John Mc Donagh