… warns Air Peace
From Suleiman Idris, Lagos
The Nigerian Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has described the situations where incidents involving aircraft are repeatedly not reported by airlines as a serious violation of the law.
The expression of its displeasure, the AIB explained follows the persistent failure of some airlines to report accidents or serious incidents to the Bureau as mandated by Law.
Specifically, the incidents and accidents investigating agency disclosed that a Boeing 737-300 aircraft with Registration Marks 5N-BUK, belonging to Air Peace Limited had on Wednesday, 15th May 2019 while the aircraft was on approach to Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos from Port Harcourt had a hard landing as it touched down on the runway (18R) without the management notifying it as required by law.
The AIB stated that the bureau however received notification about the serious incident on 5th of June 2019 from a passenger onboard the flight,involving a Boeing 737-300 aircraft with Registration Marks 5N-BUK, belonging to Air Peace Limited from a passenger onboard.
However, reacting to the allegation, the Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema said that when the incident happened the airline reported to the regulatory agency, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and also wrote to Boeing and the manufacturer of the aircraft’s engine, CPM International.
“When the incident occurred we report it to NCAA. We followed the aircraft manual, which guided us on what to do when such incident occurred. We wrote to Boeing, the aircraft manufacturer and also wrote to the engine manufacturer, CPM International. We also grounded the aircraft.
“We always report any incident to NCAA and sometimes you may not know what to report to AIB because the NCAA is the regulatory authority and the Bureau is in charge of accident investigation.
So when incident like hard landing happens and you inform NCAA, we feel we have followed the procedure. Boeing has written back to us and has told us what to do, according to the procedure, currently inspection is being carried out on the aircraft,” Onyema said.
A similar accident the agency said had occurred on December 14th, 2018 when a Boeing 737-300 belonging to the airline, with registration marks 5N-BUO, enroute Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu from Lagos was involved in a serious incident at about 10:44hrs. The information only got to the Bureau through the social media.
It was reported that the said incident occurred on Wednesday, 15th May 2019, while the aircraft was on approach to Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos from Port Harcourt. The aircraft was said to have experienced a hard landing as it touched down on the runway (18R).
On the recent incident, AIB said “Upon receipt of the notification, the Bureau visited Air Peace Limited office and confirmed the said occurrence. The Bureau further conducted a damage assessment on the aircraft, which revealed that the aircraft made contact on the runway with the starboard engine cowling as obvious from various scrapes, scratches and dents, an evidence of tyre scouring on the sidewalls of the No. 4 tyre as well as bottoming of the main landing gear oleo struts. There was also visible damage to the right-hand engine compressor blades.
The aircraft has since been on ground, awaiting implementation of the hard landing inspections recommended by the aircraft manufacturer, the Boeing Company. This includes an inspection of the right-hand engine pylons and the wing root, due to the heavy impact concerns.”
It added that “Further discussions with the Maintenance Personnel of Air Peace Limited revealed that CFM International, the engine manufacturer, has also been contacted with regard to necessary inspections, to ascertain the serviceability of the starboard engine.
The nature of the damage suggest that, there was a high probability of an accident as captured in the definition of Serious Incidents in the Bureau’s Civil Aviation (Investigation of Air Accidents and Incidents) Regulations 2016”.
According to the AIB, “Of utmost concern is the fact that till date, the Accident Investigation Bureau has received no notification of the incident: three (3) weeks after the date of occurrence, contrary to ICAO Annex 13 which guides the operations of aircraft accident investigation procedures.
Rather, the Bureau further to the occurrence, received a submission of a ‘Mandatory Occurrence Report’(MOR) subsequently filed at NCAA, on 7th June 2019, which filing was as a direct result of the Bureau’s visit to Air Peace office on the 6th day of June 2019.”