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Published On: Thu, Apr 19th, 2018

Investigation points to crew misdemeanor in Associated Airlines crash

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From Suleiman Idris, Lagos

A report among six final accident and serious incident reports released by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) yesterday revealed that poor professional conduct of the flight crew was a contributory factors leading to the crash of an Associated Airlines aircraft on October 3rd 2013 in Lagos.
The final documents captured accident and serious incidents that occurred in the Nigeria aviation industry between 2009 and 2014.
Among the six reports released were two accidents and four serious incidents.
The Associated Aircraft crash of October 3, 2013 with the registration number, 5N-BJY, the investigative agency said could have been prevented had the crew discontinued with the flight with the aircraft showing flap configuration warning and auto-feather warning at low speed.
Presenting the six final reports in Lagos, AIB Commissioner, Mr. Akin Olateru apologized to Nigerians for the delay in releasing the reports, some of which he said occurred over ten years ago.
Another accident report released was that of Westlink Airlines Limited Piper Aztec 23-250 aircraft with the registration number 5N-BGZ, which occurred at Matseri Village,Bunza Local Government Area of Kebbi State on August 11, 2014.
The serious incidents were Aero Contractors DHC-8-400 aircraft incident with registration 5N-BPT, with the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) baggage loader on April 29, 2014 and another incident involving two Bristow Helicopters aircraft, Bell 412 helicopters with Registration numbers 5N-BGS, and 5N-BDD, at the Addax Base Helipad,
Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria on 12th November, 2009.
Also covered were the serious incidents involving two aircraft belonging to Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT). They were the Tampico Club TB9 with the registration number 5N-CBE, which serious incident occurred at Zaria Aerodrome, Kaduna State on October 4, 2012 and another serious incident involving Tampico TB9 Aircraft with registration number 5N-CBI that occurred at the same Zaria Aerodrome on May 23, 2012.
Engr. Akin Olateru in his speech to journalists at the Air Safety House headquarters of AIB at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), said that the bureau was committed to releasing accident reports promptly to realise the purpose of accident investigation.
AIB he said was notified of the Associated crash through a phone call by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) immediately after the accident.
The report on the Associated crash cited as its causal factor the decision of the crew to continue the take-off despite the abnormal number 2 Propeller indication warning and the low altitude stall as a result of low thrust at start of roll for take-off from number 2 engine caused by an undetermined malfunction of the propeller control unit.
On the contributory factor, the AIBs release fingered the aircraft
being rotated before attaining V1, the decision to continue the take-off with flap configuration warning and auto-feather warning at low speed, poor professional conduct of the flight crew, inadequate application of Crew Resource Management (CRM) principles, poor company culture and inadequate regulatory oversight.
AIB released four safety recommendations on the crash, which were all directed at NCAA.
AIB called on NCAA to enhance the enforcement of the regulations with regards to the implementation of operators approved personnel training programme and intensification of its safety oversight function on the airline to ensure that flight operations were carried out in accordance with approved operations manuals in line with the provisions of Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs).
Others were improved safety oversight on the affected carrier to ensure staff welfare issues, and that remunerations were settled promptly and the establishment of Confidential Voluntary Reporting System, which must be implemented in line with the State Safety Program.

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