According to Reuters, Iran says it refrained from shooting down U.S. plane with 35 on board. The article goes onto say the aircraft was a P-8 Poseidon with 35 on board:

Iran refrained from shooting down a U.S. plane with 35 people on board that was accompanying the downed drone in the Gulf, a Revolutionary Guards commander said on Friday...

Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards aerospace division, was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency: “With the U.S. drone in the region there was also an American P-8 plane with 35 people on board. This plane also entered our airspace and we could have shot it down, but we did not.”

I thought the P-8 had a crew of about 12 or so. I thought two or three were flight crew, and the remainder were technicians working with the electronic warfare packages.

Is 35 an accurate number for the P-8?

  • $\begingroup$ The P-8 is larger than a 737 so 35 people isn't unimaginable, but all the sources I can find says that it has a mission crew of 7. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Jun 22 '19 at 4:43
  • $\begingroup$ The P-8 is literally a 737. $\endgroup$ – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jun 22 '19 at 4:47
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, its late.. I meant it was longer than the 737 "C-40" transport plane. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Jun 22 '19 at 4:57
  • $\begingroup$ OK, according to wikipedia: "Crew: Flight: two; Mission: seven". I missed it on my first reading. I wonder why Iran is reporting 35? $\endgroup$ – jww Jun 22 '19 at 5:23
  • $\begingroup$ They were thinking RC-135. $\endgroup$ – Juan Jimenez Jun 22 '19 at 9:16

This diagram clearly shows it would be almost impossible to fit nine crew plus an additional twenty-six people in the aircraft. There are no seats for the additional twenty-six. At most you can fit two additional people in the observer seats behind the power distribution packs. The additional seats in the middle are for crew only during takeoff and landing. The aft cabin only has one seat for the mission planning workstation, and that's one of the nine crew seats.

Internal layout P-8A Poseidon

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    $\begingroup$ Nitpicking, but it looks like the forward cabin seating is drawn as three rows of dual seats, not single seats... $\endgroup$ – Cpt Reynolds Jun 22 '19 at 18:28
  • $\begingroup$ That's actually where the crew sits for t/o and landing. Not pax seats. $\endgroup$ – Juan Jimenez Jun 22 '19 at 20:55
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    $\begingroup$ Ah ok, makes sense. Is that the same (crew in seats and not at station for takeoff/landing) on other similar aircraft, e.g. Orion or Nimrod? $\endgroup$ – Cpt Reynolds Jun 22 '19 at 22:18
  • $\begingroup$ I am not familiar with the config for those. $\endgroup$ – Juan Jimenez Jun 23 '19 at 8:01
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    $\begingroup$ Understood, thanks! $\endgroup$ – Cpt Reynolds Jun 23 '19 at 14:44

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