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The Accident Investigation Bureau, Nigeria (AIB-N) has released two preliminary reports on the incidents involving aircraft owned and operated by Air Peace Limited and Max Air.

A statement by Tunji Oketunbi, General Manager (Public Affairs), said Air Peace Boeing 737-500 aircraft with registration marks 5N-BUJ was enroute Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri on November 5, 2019, when the incident occurred at about 23,000 feet above Mean Sea Level (FL230).

The incident involving Max Air Boeing 747-400 aircraft with registration mark 5N-DBK occurred at Runway 05, Minna International Airport on September 7, 2019, he added.

In its report on Air Peace obtained from the organisation’s website, AIB said it was notified of the serious incident by the operator on November 5, 2019, the day of the occurrence.

Investigators were deployed same day to the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) of Murtala Muhammed Airport, where the aircraft was parked after making an air return to commence post occurrence assessments, under the provisions of the Civil Aviation (Investigation of Air Accidents and Incidents) Regulations 2019 and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 13.

All other relevant stakeholders were notified, the report said.

AIB disclosed that although the aircraft was slightly damaged, there were no incidences of fatal, serious or minor injuries.

The report read in part: “On 22nd June, 2018, the incident engine, S/N 720461 was removed from an aircraft in Air Peace Limited fleet, 5N-BQQ at a Time Since New (TSN) of 83,611:31 h and Cycle Since New (CSN) of 76,567.

“On 11th April, 2019, Authorised Release Certificate (EASA Form 1) was issued by Jordan Airmotive Limited Company in respect of a repair work done on the incident engine, S/N 720461 at a TSN of 83,611:31 h.

“On 17th April, 2019, the repaired engine, S/N 720461 was installed at the Right Hand (No. 2) position on 5N-BUJ at a TSN of 83,611:31 h and CSN of 76,567.”

On June 17, the AIB said the first flight with the repaired engine installed on 5N-BUJ was conducted.

The AIB added that investigation conducted so far revealed that the pilots were qualified and licensed to fly the aircraft, the aircraft landed safely on the runway, and the crew and passengers disembarked normally without any injury.

Max Air Incident

On Max Air, the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) said it was notified of the incident by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on September 7, 2019, while investigators dispatched to the incident site the same day commenced post occurrence assessments, under the 2 provisions of Civil Aviation (Investigation of Air Accidents and Incidents) Regulations 2019 and ICAO Annex 13.

The report revealed that aircraft was slightly damaged and one runway edge light was equally damaged.

Investigations by AIB revealed that there was damage to the bottom intake of engine number 1, the fan cowl (left and right) on engine number one, the thrust reverser cowl on engine number one, the punctured fairing on the left wing and the transfer tube between angle gearbox and main gearbox.

The report said no medical tests were conducted and ”reasonable efforts were in place to submit the flight crew to alcohol and drug testing, which was the normal procedure in aircraft accident investigations”. But due to the absence of suitable testing facility in the vicinity, the efforts were unsuccessful, it said.

The AIB said that there was also no pre or post-impact fire and ”the incident was survivable as passengers disembarked normally and unhurt”.

The AIB noted that its initial findings revealed that the crew were certified and qualified to conduct the flight.

Recommendations

The AIB urged the NAMA to ensure that the navigational aids installed at all the operating airports in Nigeria are calibrated in accordance with the AIP Supplement S 38/2019 dated September 10, 2019.

“FAAN should always ensure that there is effective control of birds and wild life during airport operating hours at Minna Airport,” the report concluded.

Mr Oketumbi, on Tuesday, warned that preliminary reports ”are not the final reports as they only contain details of the initial facts, discussions and findings surrounding the occurrences”.

”These details include information gathered from witness statements, flight recorders, Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) Data, Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) data, and preliminary inspection of the accident sites and the wreckages,” he added.

“Therefore,” his statement added: “investigation on this occurrence is still ongoing and final report on the incident will be released at the conclusion of the investigation.”

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