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September 5th, 2014
04:32 PM ET

Officials: U.S. charter airplane carrying Americans forced to land in Iran

(CNN) - A charter airplane carrying military contractors, including Americans, was forced to land Friday in Iran after its pilots were told the flight plan was out of date, U.S. officials told CNN.

The plane was en route to the United Arab Emirates when it was told by Iran that it needed to return to Afghanistan, the officials said.

The plane did not have enough fuel to return to Afghanistan, and the Iranians ordered it land or be "intercepted," the officials said. It landed in Bandar Abbas in southern Iran near the Persian Gulf, and Iranian officials inspected the aircraft.

The plane was carrying mostly contractors, including Americans, the officials said.

Chartered from Fly Dubai to fly from Bagram air base to Dubai, the plane left three hours later than scheduled, so Iranian authorities considered the flight plan "expired" by the time it crossed into Iranian airspace, administration officials tells CNN.

Fly Dubai arranged a new flight plan and fuel, and settled things with Iranian authorities, sources said. It took a little extra time because a new crew was required; the original crew had exceeded its 12-hour flying limit and three-hour extension.

The plane should be wheels up any minute, according to officials.

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