Adelabu’s plane accident: Flint Aero crew lack experience for night flight- Report

A preliminary report released by the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) indicated that Flints Aero Services Ltd crew, the airline that flew Minister of Power, Mr. Adebayo Adelabu from Abuja to Ibadan Airport lacked sufficient experience in night-time flight operations just as the carrier was equally indicted for violating the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) issued to it by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). 

The airline according to the NSIB was issued with a Permit for Non-Commercial Flight (PNCF). The PNCF issued to Flint Aero Services Limited stipulates that the aircraft shall not be used for the carriage of passenger(s), cargo, or mail for hire or reward.

The agency stated this in its release of two preliminary reports on an accident and a serious incident involving aircraft owned and operated by Flints Aero Services Ltd, and FLYFORVALUE Aviation Ltd.

The Flint flight departed Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (DNAA), Abuja for Ibadan Airport (DNIB), Oyo state, as a charter flight on an Instrument Flight Rules flight plan. On board were 10 persons inclusive of two cockpit crew and one cabin crew, with fuel endurance of three hours.

The flight crew were licensed and qualified to conduct the flight and the Captain had 49 night flying hours only. The aircraft had a valid Certificate of Airworthiness and was programmed for an RNAV approach using the autopilot, which was cleared by the ATC.

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The aircraft touched down in the grass verge on the extended centre line of the runway, about 220 m from the threshold, and veered progressively right of centre line runway 22 on entering the paved area until a point 156 meters from the runway threshold, crossed the right runway shoulder and entered the grass verge. There was no evidence of braking action from the tyre tracks on the runway.

Post-incident inspection of the aircraft confirmed substantial damage to the fuselage, the landing gear, and the flaps. The passengers disembarked without any injury while the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) and Flight Data Recorder (FDR) were recovered in good condition and recordings were intact after the occurrence.

The aviation investigative body recommended that the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) should ensure that it strictly observes the airport operational hours as published in the relevant Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) and not permit extensions beyond the airport’s limitations.

It also recommended that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) should ensure that Flints Aero Services Limited operates within the limits of the approval given to it, by Section 18.2.4.3 of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations 2015, just as it equally stated that the carrier should ensure that its flight crew has sufficient experience in night-time flight operations.

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It called on the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to ensure that the overgrown grass verge on either side of runway 04/22 is immediately cleared.

On the incident involving a Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft with nationality and registration marks 5N-BXR owned and operated by FLYFORVALUE Aviation Limited at Port Harcourt International Airport, Rivers State on November 14th, 2023 it said the flight was a scheduled flight from Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos (DNMM) to Port Harcourt Intl. Airport, Rivers State (DNPO) on an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) flight plan.

 On board were 68 persons inclusive of 5 crew; two cockpit, and three cabin crew with fuel endurance of 2 hours and 15 minutes.

“While on the ground in Lagos, the flight crew received weather information for Port Harcourt reporting Visibility at 1500 meters, reducing to 600 meters in thunderstorms and rain. The decision was made to wait on the ground in Lagos with passengers onboard until conditions became more suitable.

“At 14:15 h, FVJ0226 departed Lagos. The Pilot was the Pilot Flying (PF) while the co-pilot was the Pilot Monitoring (PM). The crew reported that take-off, climb, cruise, descent, and approach phases were uneventful. During approach at about six NM to the station, the aircraft encountered light rain, which dissipated before reaching the final approach fix. Wipers were switched on. The crew discussed the weather and agreed that there was no threat to a safe operation. Approach and Descent checklists were completed.”

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The initial findings of the flight indicated that the flight crew was licensed and qualified to conduct the flight and the aircraft had a valid Certificate of Airworthiness.

After touchdown, the Pilot Monitoring called out 90 kt during the landing roll while the Pilot Flying called for After Landing checklist and flaps retraction. The aircraft continued its roll till it veered off the runway into the grass verge adjacent to Link A5. The ATC activated the crash alarm. Passengers disembarked without any injury

The CVR and FDR were recovered in good condition and recordings were intact after the occurrence.

Wole Shadare

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