NSIB Report: Faulty Nose-wheel Reason for Skidding of Dana Air Flight Off Runway

Chinedu Eze

The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) has attributed the recent major incident involving MD-82 aircraft operated by Dana Air, which skidded off the runway on landing at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos on April 23, 2024, to faulty nosewheel also known as the landing gear.
On board the aircraft were 89 persons and six crew members.
In a preliminary report released by NSIB yesterday, the agency said that before the landing of the  McDonnell Douglas MD-82 with registration mark, 5N-BKI, the pilot in command noticed that the landing gear indicator was red instead of green, which suggested that it had a problem.
The crew of the flight did everything possible to return it to green, but the landing gear indicated red, suggesting that the error or the problem was not resolved.
Then the pilot in command called the Air Traffic Control to observe and confirm whether the landing gear was ejected and out; which the Control said it seemed to be out and eventually the aircraft landed and taxied for 80 knots before the landing gear lost control and skidded off runway into the grassland and collapsed.
NSIB in its report said, “The Main Landing Gear Indication Lights were GREEN, while the Nose Landing Gear (NLG) Indication Light was Red. The crew started recycling the gear selection UP and then DOWN, but the NLG remained Red until touchdown. The crew consulted the QRH (quick reference handbook) and proceeded with the emergency gear extension checklist, but the Red Indication Light remained. The crew stated that they did a low pass (low approach) over the station during the Go-Around and requested ATC to check if the Nose Landing Gear was extended. ATC responded, “It appears to be down.”
“Upon landing, the Ground Spoilers (equipment in the aircraft) did not deploy automatically, according to the crew. During the landing roll, the crew stated that there was severe vibration accompanied by a loud noise coming from the Nose Landing Gear area, which remained extended until 80 knots before it collapsed (this indicated that the landing gear was out and supported the plane and later collapsed0. The Captain commanded evacuation, using the Forward Service Door due to safety concerns from the Main Entry Door side. As the cabin crew opened the Forward Service Door, the Escape Slide deployed automatically, and the occupants evacuated safely without any injury.”

According to NSIB, the Dana Air flight contacted Approach Control (ATC) requesting to be vectored for another approach. Approach Control then enquired about the reason for the Go-Around, to which the crew responded, “We just had an indication here, so we just want to verify everything is okay, but at this moment, we look good, and we are going to try another Approach to RWY 18L (Runway 18L, the domestic runway).”

The crew stated in the post-occurrence interview that they consulted the MD82 Quick Reference Handbook (QRH) and carried out the QRH items.

The agency disclosed that the crew of the flight stated that the flight was routine until during approach (about to land) when the flight was in contact with the control tower and was cleared for ILS (Instrument Landing System) on RWY 18L.

NSIB stated, “On 23 April 2024 at 08:20 h, an MD-82 aircraft with nationality and registration marks 5N-BKI, operated by Dana Airlines Limited as DAN0352, departed Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja (DNAA), for Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos (DNMM). On board were 89 persons, including six crew members, with a fuel endurance of about two hours and 50 minutes. The Captain was the Pilot Monitoring (PM), while the First Officer was the Pilot Flying (PF)

The agency also said the flight crew were licensed and certified to conduct the flight and that the aircraft had a valid Certificate of Airworthiness.

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