Behrooz Ghamari recalled flying in Iran aboard a moldering, Russian-made Tupolev jet, a workhorse of the country’s beleaguered passenger fleet.
“When you’re taking off, the pilot says, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, trembling and shaking is normal,’” said Ghamari, a history professor at the University of Illinois.
“And when it’s taking off, the whole plane shakes like mad. It was so scary. The planes are so heavy, it’s like they are made of steel. It was bizarre to think these machines fly.”
They weren’t airborne in Iran for much longer. That flight was in 2009. Two years later, Iran grounded the...