By Chinedu Eze
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) yesterday explained that the reported incident concerning Qatar Airways, which aborted take off last Thursday to Doha from Lagos was due to a bird strike.
It said a bird entered one of its engines at take off point.
NCAA said Qatar Airways Airbus A330 with registration number, A7 – AED, Flight number, 1408 scheduled operation from Lagos – Doha “received a push back to take off from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) at 14.45hrs UTC. On board were 256 passengers and 10 Crew members.”
The regulatory authority also noted that the flight was to take off at 4:18Nigerian time but the Pilot-in-Command (PIC) made an air return to MMIA.
“He took this decision after the Aircraft suffered a bird strike in flight. The bird strike hit the No.1 engine. On its safe return to Murtala Muhammed International Airport, diligent inspection was carried out on the aircraft.
“However, findings disclosed no damage. Since there was no damage, the Aircraft was cleared and it recommenced the operation and departed at 17.30hrs UTC (5:30p.m. Nigerian time)” NCAA noted in a statement signed by its spokesman, Sam Adurogboye.
NCAA said it was pertinent to point out that the aircraft pilot adhered to the Standard and Recommended Practices (SARPs) in undertaking an air return, remarking that this was to carry out an assessment of the impact of the bird strike before continuing the flight.
“The NCAA wishes to assure Nigerians that it will continue to ensure robust safety oversight of the industry for safe and secure air transportation,” NCAA assured.