AIB Releases Preliminary Reports on Max Air, Air Peace Incidents

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* Bush fire reported near Imo airport

Chinedu Eze

The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has released two preliminary reports on incidents involving aircraft owned and operated by Air Peace Limited and Max Air, just as the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has alerted airport users of inferno in the bush near the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, Owerri, Imo State.

AIB reported that Air Peace Boeing 737-500 aircraft with nationality and registration marks 5N-BUJ was en-route Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri on November 5, 2019 when the incident occurred at about 23,000 feet above Mean Sea Level (FL230).

On the other hand, the incident on Max Air Boeing 747-400 aircraft with nationality and registration marks 5N-DBK occurred at Runway 05, Minna International Airport on September 7, 2019.

For Max Air incident, the Bureau stated that during the incident, “the aircraft crossed the threshold right of centre line, was in a left bank, the left main wheels touched down and the number one engine nacelle contacted the runway on the centre line, 203 metres from the threshold, and was dragged on the runway along the centre line for approximately 44 metres”.

AIB further explained that the body wheels touched down; followed by the right main wheels and the aircraft gradually steered to the centre line.

“On examining the number one engine, the bottom surface of the nacelle was abraded, thereby releasing the cowl latches resulting in the fan cowls being blown off the engine by the slipstream.”

The Bureau observed that damage was done to the bottom intake of engine number one, fan cowl (left and right) on engine number one and the thrust reverser cowl on engine number one.

It further observed that the left wing was punctured and damage was done to the transfer tube between angle gearbox and main gearbox

For Air Peace incident, the Bureau noted that the the pilots were qualified and licensed to fly the aircraft.

It also observed that while the first officer was the Pilot Flying (PF), the captain was the pilot monitoring.

The Bureau disclosed that the captain took control of the aircraft at FL230 after the loud bang and yaw, adding that the aircraft had a valid Certificate of Airworthiness.

It also noted that metal debris were found around the tail cone of No Two engine during post-occurrence inspection.

The bureau therefore recommended that Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) should ensure that the Navigational Aids installed at all the operating airports in Nigeria are calibrated in accordance with the AIP Supplement S 38/2019.

“The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN) should always ensure that there is effective control of birds and wild life during airport operating hours at Minna Airport,” AIB added.

Meanwhile, FAAN had warned travellers and other airport users about a bush fire incident that has been reported at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, Owerri.

The agency said officers of the Air Rescue and Fire Fighting Services were deployed to fight the fire.

“However, the incident did not affect flight operations as normal flight operations continue unhindered.

“The authority will like to appeal to host communities around airports to please desist from burning bushes around the airports as this act is capable of jeopardising safety of flight operations because of the prevailing weather condition in the country,” the agency said in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu.