AIB release final reports of six past crashes

•Report says late Taraba Gov Suntai not qualified to fly crashed plane

Nigeria’s Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has released more six final reports of past crashes thus making it a total of 46 final reports and 178 safety recommendations so far released since the inception of AIB.

Among the reports released yesterday was the accident involving the crash of a Cessna 208B Caravan with Nationality and registration Marks 5N-BMJ belonging to the ministry of works and transport, Taraba State government which occurred at Kwananan-Waya Village, Yola South local government area, Adamawa State on 25th October, 2012. The aircraft was directly piloted by the late Taraba State Governor, Danbaba Suntai.

In the findings made by the AIB committee which investigated the crash, the bureau while saying it could not conclusively determine the cause of the accident disclosed three major causes of the accident.

According to the report: “the late governor turned pilot was not certified, qualified and not competent to fly the aircraft. The decision of the pilot to operate a Visual Flight Rules (VFR) flight after sunset.”

Also mentioned to be a causal factor to the crash was the failure of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to carry out its oversight functions.

The findings further declared that: “The pilot is qualified to fly Cessna 172 and has total logged flying hours of 58 hours and 40 minutes.  The pilot has no relevant endorsement to fly Cessna Caravan 208B. The pilot does not have instrument ratings and night flight privileges.”

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The pilot also was accused of lying by reporting an incorrect estimated time of arrival (ETA at Yola as 10:01 UTC as against the time 17:19 UTC while he also lied to the control tower that he had six persons onboard when actually four were found after the accident.

The committee also in its findings discovered that the control tower was notified about 5N-BMJ departure by a phone call from Jalingo, Taraba State after the aircraft was airborne.

The late governor though completed his training and obtained a Private Pilot Licence at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, NCAT, Zaria but he had no right to fly into the airport because he was not rated to fly into any airport that uses visuals in the evenings or at nights.

Other reports released included that of a Boeing MD-83 aircraft belonging to Dana Airline which crashed at Port Harcourt International Airport on 20th, February 2018.

The aircraft was on the centerline until it veered off left approximately 200 feet to the end of the runway, exited the paved surface and came to a stop 978 feet from the end of the runway approximately 33 feet left of the extended centerline.

According to the findings, the Dana crash was caused by an “underestimation of the degradation of weather conditions (heavy rain, visibility and strong wind on short final and landing and the failure by the crew to initiate a missed approach which was not consistent with the company’s standard operation procedure.

Other reports also released included that of Delta Airlines which crashed after takeoff from runway 18Right on February 13th 2018 with that involving a Diamond DA40D operated by International Aviation College (IAC), Ilorin which occurred at Ilorin International Airport, Ilorin, Kwara State.

These six final reports released according to AIB Commissioner, Akin Olateru have generated a total of 24 safety recommendations.

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