Thursday, April 25, 2019 5:02 pm
The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) on Thursday said late former Taraba Governor, Danbaba Suntai, was not certified to operate the Cessna 208B Caravan aircraft which crashed on Oct. 25, 2012.
The bureau said the aircraft, with registration number 5N-BMJ, which crashed at Kwanan-Waya Village, Yola South in Adamawa State, was also not in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) registry.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the AIB Commissioner, Mr Akin Olateru, made the disclosure at the release of six final accidents/serious incidents reports in Lagos.
The released reports include that of the serious incident involving a Delta Air Lines Airbus A330-223 aircraft which occurred on Feb. 13, 2018 at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
Also included is the incident involving a Diamond 40 aircraft belonging to the International Aviation College, Ilorin on Nov. 25, 2013.
Others are the crash of a Bristow Helicopter aircraft which occurred in Lagos on Feb. 3, 2016 and the incident involving Gulfstream 200 aircraft belonging to Nest Oil which occurred on Jan. 20, 2018 at the Abuja Airport.
Also released was the report on the incident involving Dana Air MD 83 aircraft with registration number 5N-SRI, which occurred at the Port Harcourt Airport on Feb. 20, 2018.
Olateru said 24 safety recommendations were generated from the six final reports, adding that the AIB now had a total of 46 final reports and 178 safety recommendations since its inception in 2007.
“These safety recommendations are very important towards preventing re-occurrence of similar accidents or serious incidents, and when adhered to, can impact air safety positively, not only in Nigeria, but also globally,” he said.
On the former governor’s crash, he said the bureau could not conclusively determine the cause of the accident and the aircraft maintenance history was not found in the registry of any Aircraft Maintenance Organisation.
“However, the investigation identified the following factors which were that the pilot was not certified qualified and not competent to fly the aircraft, the decision of the pilot to operate a Visual Flight Rule (VFR) flight after sunset and inadequate oversight by the NCAA,” the commissioner said.
He, however, explained that Suntai had obtained a Private Pilot Licence and was qualified to fly Cessna 172 aircraft, having logged a total of 58 hours and 40 minutes of flights before the accident.
Olateru said the causal factor of the Delta Air Lines incident was due to an over-temperature condition and localised fire within the No. 1 engine cowling, which triggered a fire warning.
“The over-temperature and fire were caused by the ignition of fuel from a hairline crack on the fuel manifold supplying fuel nozzle 1,” he added.
On the Dana Air incident, Olateru said it was caused by an underestimation of the degradation of weather conditions (heavy rain, visibility and strong wind on short final and landing).
The commissioner also identified ineffective two-way communication between the Air Traffic Controllers and the Dana Air crew as one of the contributory factors.
He also disclosed that the Nestoil aircraft incident was caused by the use of improper directional control techniques to maintain the aircraft on the runway.
Furthermore, Olateru disclosed that the Bristow Helicopter’s crash was due to the failure of the crew to disengage the autopilot to fly the aircraft manually and non-adherence to the Company Operations Manual as it relates to after takeoff checks.
On the International Aviation College (IAC) aircraft incident, the AIB boss identified poor maintenance practice which led to loss of engine power during initial climb as its cause.