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*Olateru laments fund paucity for accident investigation
Five years after Dana plane crash that killed 153 passengers and crew in a Lagos suburb of Iju-Ishaga, the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) today released the final report of the accident and gave graphic details of what led to the crash regarded as the worst air crash in Nigeria over a decade.
This is coming as the aviation agency lamented the precarious financial situation of the agency reputed to be the least financially generating agency in aviation sector.
The Commissioner AIB, Akin Olateru, an aeronautical engineer lamented that the entire yearly budget of the parastatal is less than N2 billion. He further lamented that a paltry N16 million is budgeted for the agency for accident investigation.
He said he had informed the Minister of Transportation over the issue, adding that he has promised to look into the matter with a view to rectifying the problem.
Also released were three other accident reports bringing the number of accident reports released by the agency yesterday to four.
One of them was the reports on OAS Helicopters (Nig.) Limited, which sad accident occurred at Oke-Oba Hill, Ikonifin, Osun State, on 29th July, 2011. The other reports were those of Bristow Helicopters that crashed in 2013 inside the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.
The final report released was that involving presidential implementation Committee on maritime safetyand security with the registration number 5N-BKS which occurred at Benin Airport, Edo State on July 15,2012.
The Dana report which was the focus of many showed how the pilot of the ill-fated crash, an American, Capt. Peter Waxton crashed the MD-83 aircraft on four buildings two minutes before the aircraft was expected to land at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.
According to the report read by the Commissioner, at a jam parked media room of the AIB stated that the pilot of the ill-fated Dana flight which occurred on June 3, 2012, said that inappropriate omission of the use of the checklist and the crew’s inability to appreciate the severity of the power-related problem, and their subsequent failure to land at the nearest suitable airfield led to the crash of 153 souls on-board and another 10 on land.
The Lagos-bound aircraft from Abuja with the registration number 5N-RAM, had left the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja on a sunny afternoon, but crashed into a two-storey building at Ishaga, at the outskirts of Lagos, barely five minutes to the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos.
Olateru disclosed that one of the two engines of the aircraft, “engine number one lost power 17 minutes into the flight, and thereafter on final approach, engine number two lost power and failed to respond to throttle movement on demand for increased power to sustain the aircraft in its flight configuration.”
He added that lack of situation awareness, inappropriate decision making, and poor airmanship by the pilot led to the death of all souls on-board.
The report stated that the Dana crash could have been avoided if the pilot had performed professionally as expected of him, recalling that AIB in its preliminary reports had made eight safety recommendations, which were published at different times.
He added: “The safety recommendations previously made in the preliminary report published on 5th September 2012 were four in numbers wherein three were targeted to Dana Airlines and all were accepted and closed.
“One was to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), accepted and closed. There were four Safety Recommendations made in the published reports; one of which is to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) targeting Pratt & Whitney the engine manufacturer.
“One to Dana Airlines; one to NCAA (with three safety recommendations in one) and one to the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) on quality assurance management.”
He explained that AIB was notified of the accident in the evening of the same day and immediately dispatched investigators to the crash site the following morning, adding that the international stakeholders were notified of the accident, but without accredited representative in the investigation.
He recalled that the helicopter belonging to OAS with registration, 5N-BKA had departed OAS helipad Maryland, Lagos at 0925hrs for Ilorin and had its initial contact with Ibadan at 0939hrs.
The Pilot checked abeam Ibadan (west) at 0950hrs and requested to climb to 1,500ft on QNH 1014hPa, which was granted.
He added: “At 1001hrs, Ibadan Control Tower called the pilot to confirm if he had two-way contact with Ilorin Control Tower. There was no reply from the aircraft. The controller reported to the Airspace Manager that somebody called the airport. fire service that she heard a ‘bang’ somewhere around Ife Odan.
“The caller confirmed the bang and the likelihood of an accident when she was called back, consequent upon, which the airspace manager directed the controller to get in touch with Ilorin, Lagos and other neighbouring states and subsequently initiated a search and rescue operation.
AIB in its investigation and the causal cause of the crash said that the pilot did not adhere to Visual Flight Rules of clear-of cloud and obstacles while maintaining ground contact at all times led to Controlled Flight into Terrain.
AIB in the report insisted that the pilot of the helicopter was not instrument rated and lacked of route familiarisation, being a foreigner.
The third report was that of a serious incident also, AIB in its report, also released the serious incident involving Bristow Helicopters’ Sikorsky S-92 with registration number 5N-BOA at MMA, Lagos on the 27th February 2013.
Olateru in the report said that the effectivity of the aircraft was excluded in the Alert Service Bulletin ASB No. 92-20-002A issued by the manufacturer.
Also, the Technical Directive (TD)-S92A-29-99 did not include Check/Inspection of the right hand side of the Upper Deck.Google+