Dana Fight 0992 Crash Avoidable

 By Kolawole Adegbola

Reading through the report of the Dana flight 0992 crash, it is noted that engine number one failed roughly seventeen minutes into the flight,. Evidently this accident could have been avoided if only the crew had followed some basic policy.
According to the US FAR (Federal Aviation Regulations), and the UK CAR (Civil Aviation Regulations), following failure of an engine, pilot is required to call in for emergency landing at the nearest airport or turn back and land at the originating airport if it is the nearest one.
The crew stubbornly chose to risk over working the only remaining engine perhaps not aware of, or unable to assess the severity of the problem. I’m sure they had seventeen minutes to return to Abuja, if there is not a closer one.
 On November 4, 2010 or thereabout, an A380 aircraft operated by Quantas airlines, flight QF32 originating from Singapore heading to Sydney, Australia suffered a blow out in one of its four engines (the number two engine) about fifteen to twenty minutes into the flight.
The crew immediately turned around and made an emergency landing back in Singapore after carefully dumping some fuel. Though the aircraft is designed to be able to survive on two engines, not willing to take a chance on any of the remaining engines, the crew made an immediate and wise decision to return and save the lives of the over 400 passengers aboard. The number 2 engine is the inner left engine. Engines are numbered from left to right on the wings.
The decision of the Dana flight 0992 crew to continue with the only surviving engine was not a very wise one, considering that they had only been in the air for seventeen minutes of an hour long flight, and that the Yakubu Gowon airport in Jos is also in close proximity in case they were reluctant to go back to ABV. They also probably could have landed at the Ibadan airport which they will cross on their way to LOS since the other engine didn’t fail until about 5 miles from the run way. The crew had plenty of opportunity to prevent the accident. I am sure NCAA has a policy similar to the FAR and the CAR which would have required consideration of landing at the next airfield.
 This may actually be an ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) policy. The report also indicated that the crew failed to consult the check list. This accident was definitely a human error. Furthermore, for two engines to fail within a short time of each other, one would think the operators of the Airline would have been seeing signs days, if not weeks before the fateful day. What a shame! 159 lives lost unnecessarily.
Hopefully, NCAA will use this report to emphasize to the Pilots the importance of recognizing the severity of losing an engine in mid-flight, and perhaps the best policy to bear in mind is “When in doubt, land at the nearest airfield”.  
Adegbola, Airframe Structural Analyst at Sikorsky Aircraft, writes this article from the United StatesUnited State
Wole Shadare