A Dassault Falcon 10 Goes Down in Afghanistan, Miraculous Survival Reported
A Russian private jet, identified as a Dassault Falcon 10, crashed in a remote area of rural Afghanistan, with the Taliban reporting that the pilot and some passengers have survived. The incident unfolded on Saturday in the mountainous Badakhshan province, approximately 250 kilometers northeast of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan.
The Taliban’s Transportation and Civil Aviation Ministry released an online statement, indicating that the wreckage was found in the Kuf Ab district, near the Aruz Koh mountain. According to the statement, a search team from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan located the pilot, who reported that four individuals, including himself, were alive. The Taliban’s investigation team is actively engaged in the ongoing search and assistance for any remaining survivors.
While there is no independent confirmation of this information, the Taliban shared a video showcasing the snow-capped mountains in the crash area. Meanwhile, in Moscow, Russian civil aviation authorities disclosed that the aircraft went missing with four crew members and two passengers. The Russian-registered plane, described as a charter ambulance flight, initiated its journey from Thailand’s U-Tapao–Rayong–Pattaya International Airport.
The plane, built in 1978 and affiliated with Athletic Group LLC and a private individual, was en route from Gaya, India, to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, with its final destination set for Zhukovsky International Airport in Moscow. Authorities reported a sudden loss of communication and disappearance from radar screens.
Russia’s Investigative Committee has initiated a criminal case related to potential violations of air safety rules or negligence. The Russian Embassy in Afghanistan is collaborating with local officials to gather more information on the incident, as confirmed by Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
In a separate statement, Abdul Wahid Rayan, a spokesman for the Taliban’s Information and Culture Ministry, identified the plane as “belonging to a Moroccan company.” Indian civil aviation officials also referred to the aircraft as Moroccan-registered. The plane was previously associated with a medical evacuation company in Morocco, but the company is reportedly no longer operational, and the aircraft has changed ownership.
Rayan attributed the crash to an “engine problem,” although specific details were not provided. Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s chief spokesman, stated that Afghan air force rescue teams were actively searching the crash site.
Tracking data from FlightRadar24 revealed the aircraft’s last position just south of Peshawar, Pakistan, before the crash in Badakhshan province. International carriers have largely avoided Afghan airspace since the Taliban’s takeover in 2021. Flights over the country are typically brief, navigating the sparsely populated Wakhan Corridor in Badakhshan province.
Afghanistan’s strategic location in central Asia, along direct routes from India to Europe and America, adds complexity to air travel considerations. Following the Taliban’s rise to power, civil aviation ceased, and global authorities restricted commercial flights through the country due to concerns about anti-aircraft threats.
While some restrictions have been eased, apprehensions persist about flying over Afghanistan. The last fatal airplane crash in the country occurred in 2020 when a U.S. Air Force Bombardier E-11A crashed in Ghazni province, claiming the lives of two American troops.
This developing story underscores the challenges and risks associated with aviation in conflict zones, raising questions about the safety of air travel over Afghanistan and the resilience of individuals facing such perilous situations.