Iran: Top 15 Presidents Who Died In Air Crash Since 1940

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The world has witnessed several tragic air crashes involving presidents, with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s fatal copter crash being the latest.

As the world mourns President Ebrahim Riasi, who was killed on Sunday in a helicopter crash at Varzaqan, East Azerbaijan, Iran. 

Below are 15 presidents killed in air accidents or incidents since 1940.

1. José Félix Estigarribia, Paraguay’s 34th president, died in a plane crash on September 7, 1940 at Altos, Paraguay. He died in a Potez 25 aircraft.

2. Ramon Magsaysay, Philippine’s seventh president, died in an aircraft crash on March 17, 1957, at Mount Balamban, Cebu. He died in a Douglas C-47 Skytrain aircraft.

3. Nereu Ramos, who served as Brazil’s interim president after 

President Getúlio Vargas died by suicide, and the impeachment of Deputy Carlos Luz and President Café Filho died in an aircraft crash on June 16, 1958, close to Curitiba Afonso Pena International Airport. He died in a Douglas C-47 Skytrain aircraft.

4. Abdul Salam Arif, the second president of Iraq, died in an air crash on April 13, 1966, in Baghdad, Iraq. He died in Havilland Dove aircraft.

5. Castelo Branco, Brazil’s first military dictatorship, came into office after the 1964 military coup d’etat. He died in an air crash on July 18, 1967, in Fortaleza, Brazil, in a Piper PA-23 aircraft.

6. René Barrientos, Bolivia’s 47th president, died in an aircraft on April 27, 1969, at Arque, Bolivia, in a Hughes 369 aircraft.

12/7/1982 President and Bill Clark meeting with President Mohammad Zia Ul Haq of Pakistan in the oval office

7. Jaime Roldós Aguilera, Ecuador’s president, from August 10, 1979, until he died in an air crash on May 24, 1981, at Huairapungo Mountain, Celica Canton of Loja Province, Ecuador. He died alongside his minister of defence, assistants and their spouses in an Avro 748 aircraft.

President Juvenal Hayarimana of Rwanda arrives for a visit.

8. Samora Machel, Mozambique’s first president from the country’s independence in 1975, died in an air crash on October 19, 1986, at Mbuzini, South Africa, in a Tupolev Tu-134 aircraft.

9. Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, sixth president of Pakistan who, died in an aircraft on August 17, 1988 at Bahawalpur, Pakistan. He died in a Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft.

10. Juvénal Habyarimana, the second president of Rwanda, was shut down in his private Dassault Falcon 50 jet near Kigali International Airport on April 6, 1994.

11. Cyprien Ntaryamira, a Burundian president, died after two months in office alongside Rwanda’s Habyarimana in the Dassault Falcon 50 jet shut down near Kigali International Airport on April 6, 1994. 

12. Boris Trajkovski was North Macedonia’s president from 1999 until he died in a plane crash on February 26, 2004, at Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in a Beechcraft Super King Air aircraft.

13. Lech Kaczyński, polish president from 2005 until he died in a plane crash at Smolensk, Russia on April 10, 2010. He died alongside his wife, Maria Kaczyńska, and other top military officials and aides in a Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft.

14. Sebastián Piñera, Chilean president from 2010 to 2022, died in a Robinson R44 helicopter (Registration CC-PHP) crash a few minutes after take-off at Lake Ranco, Chile, on February 6, 2024.

15. Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s eighth sitting president, died in an air crash on May 16, 2024, at Varzaqan, East Azerbaijan, Iran, in a Bell 212 aircraft. 

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