Muhammed International Airport
An Aero Contractors Airline flight destined for Enugu from Lagos on Tuesday made an emergency landing and returned to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport due to engine failure.
Informed source disclosed that when the flight took off and gained cruising height, the pilot noticed that there was a problem with the engine, but initially thought it was engine indication error, which means that the indicator misread the actual condition of the engine, but when the pilot, who was said to be a female, noticed that the engine had problem, she shut it off immediately, declared for emergency landing and landed with one engine.
THISDAY gathered that the pilot declared for emergency landing at 11:54 a.m. and landed at 12: 20 p.m.
The source said the pilot was very professional that immediately she realised that there was engine problem, she declared for emergency and returned to the airport.
But another source from the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) said the pilot made air return back to Lagos when she learnt that the weather in Enugu was bad.
When THISDAY contacted the spokesperson of the airline, Simon Tumba, for the details of the incident he did not explain what happened.
In the past few months, the airline had recorded many air returns due to technical issues and bad weather, but the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) had advised pilots and airlines to be abreast of the latest weather report on the airport of destination before embarking on a flight.
Last week, NIMET issued a statement signed by the Director General of the agency, Dr Anthony Anuforom, warning pilots about the coming harmattan weather, noting that the effect of dust particles in the atmosphere in the southern parts of the country would include occurrence of early morning and late evening mist/fog conditions which would reduce visibility significantly during the period and affect flight operations.
“Consequently, air, road and rail transportation will be affected by this impairment of surface horizontal visibility. Road users, particularly motorists are therefore advised to be cautious and adhere strictly to road traffic rules and regulations including putting on fog lights while driving,” the statement advised.
During the yuletide season, domestic airlines increased their flight frequencies especially to the airports in the southern parts of the country and their otherwise smooth operations are hindered by the inclement weather occasioned by the Harmattan.
In December last year many flights to Owerri, Enugu, Calabar, Warri and Port Harcourt airports were cancelled by all the airlines that operated to those destinations due to bad weather.
THISDAY also learnt that besides bad weather, many of those airports do not have reliable airfield lighting that could aid aircraft to land in foggy weather, as it is done in other parts of the world during winter and other unfavourable weather situations.