Our group meet up at Tehran Mehrabad Airport Termainl 4 for the morning flight to Isfahan with Taban Air.
However, we were told the plane (Avro RJ-85) had a faulty battery and the flight is cancelled. Our tour off to a bad start....but it can only go better from this point!
After long negotiation with the airline, they've agree to send us to Isfahan by VIP bus. The journey took almost 6 hours!
With a few breaks in the country side of Iran....
At 4pm, our group finally arrived at the square of Isfahan. The group got well rested on the bus and were keen for the sightseeing.
Our group were lucky that the guard at the Shah mosque extended opening time for us, so all of us can see the splendid Shah Mosque.
Stunning Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque (Lady Mosque) during sunset.
The Si-o-seh pol (33 hole bridge) at night before we head for the airport. It was built in year 1599!
Luckily, our return flight with Taban Air is on-time! Everyone feels relieved.
Taban Air TA6234
Delivered 6/1996 to DAT, Belgium
Flight time was 45 minutes with a good sandwich snack.
Cabin in comfortable 2-3 seating arrangement.
Our group meet up at Tehran Mehrabad Airport at 4:30am ready for 6:10am departure to Mashhad with Iran Aseman B727-200!
During bus boarding to the plane, we met these tea merchant from Mashhad, they were so kind to give me some of the tea as gift!
Our group happily board the B727!
Iran Aseman Airlines EP608
Delivered1980 to Air France
Passenger onboard 162
More than 5 B727 (3 active) on the Aseman Airlines ramp.
During the flight, we were invited to see the cockpit. While cockpit visit isn't rare in Iran, being able to visit Aseman Airlines B727 during mid-flight is actually rarely happened. In the past, it was almost impossible on Aseman Airlines but our group has the lucky god shines over it. The onboard marshall saw through our passion and gone out of his way to help us.
The crew were extremely pleasant, relaxed and experienced.
Capt Amir, F/O Navid and F/E Hadi
I was able to stay inside the cockpit to observe the landing into Mashhad, my first jump seat landing on the B727!
Weather was rainy and low visibility in Mashad. We conducted ILS Rwy31R approach.
The landing was one of the smoothest our group ever experienced, a round of applause was heard in the cabin!
The captain, Mr Amir kept his photo album with his flying suitcase. He kindly showed us his yesteryear photos.
Deplane from both front and rear end. This B727 will now fly to Masar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan from Mashhad.
Our group was transferred by two 20 seater bus to the Iman Reza Holy Shrine in Mashhad. This is considered as the most holy site in Iran.
The Imam Reza Shrine in Mashhad, Iran is a complex which contains the mausoleum of Imam Reza, the eighth Imam of Twelve Shiites. It is the largest mosque in the world by dimension and the second largest by capacity. Also contained within the complex are the Goharshad Mosque, a museum, a library, four seminaries, a cemetery, the Razavi University of Islamic Sciences, a dining hall for pilgrims, vast prayer halls, and other buildings.
We were extremely privileged as usually non-muslim and foreign visitor needs an invite in advance to visit such holy shrine. We were given unparallel access with a warm reception.
A copy of aerial photo of the holy shrine showing its size.
Some of the fine carpet collection inside the shrine museum
Photo with Afghani pilgrims.
After a very special visit to the holy shrine, we returned to the airport. Our flight departs for Tehran at 13:45
Iran Aseman Airlines EP609
Delivered1980 to Air France
Passenger onboard 165
We were welcome by the same crew who flew to Afghanistan and back with us to Tehran today. One of us in the group were invited to the cockpit to view the takeoff.
Lunch is served onboard.
Well maintained 36 year old cabin.
Legroom from seat 29A is excellent.
After another smooth landing in Tehran. Our next program is to visit Iran Air HQ (maintenance ramp).
Our group gather in front of the A300 tail (gate guard) of Iran Air HQ
The visit was one of the major challenge to organize as Iran Air Public Relations don't like their old planes feature in the press. However, through many Iran Air pilots and worker's help, we were able to convince them to give us final approval of the tour. This certainly brings a huge smile to everyone's face.
I have to specially thank Iran Air Director of Flight Operations, B747 fleet Captain Moghadam, Mr Mostafa for their great help making the tour possible.
During the tour, I was able to meet up Mr Rassoul, an F/E who I first met 12 years ago in 2004 on Iran Air B747-SP flight from Beijing. It was amazing meeting up after 12 years later!
The maintenance officer were kindly let us board the A300-600R EP-IBA which is under checks.
Our group got really lucky, Iran Air Cargo B747-200 EP-ICD came to Mehrabad for maintenance check on the same day of our visit. Captain Moghadam invited all of us to board the Cargo Jumbo!
On the stairway access to upper deck (cockpit and crew rest)
From the starboard window view towards the ramp with 2 B747-SP park next to the B747-200F.
In the evening, we have an official banquet by Iran Air at Iran Air restaurant, which many captain and first officers came to join us. It was a fun filled evening with a lot of conversations and friendship building.