Nigeria has recorded several air mishaps involving passenger planes since it came into existence as a nation, most especially in the last one decade. The Kano crash of BOAC Argonaut in 1956 may have been the beginning of this tale of woes.
The Kano Crash Of BOAC ARGONAUT
Although it was not a Nigerian plane, the accident occurred on June 4, 1956 when a British Overseas Airways Corperation (BOAC) four-engined Canadair C-4 Argonaut airliner register G-ALHE crashed into a a tree on departure from Kano Airport, three of the seven crew members and 29 of the 38 passengers were killed, and two crew and two passengers sustained serious injuries.
At 17:21 the Argonaut departed runway 25 at Kano Airport on its way to Tripoli in Libya. The flight which was from Lagos enroute London, but it had to make a scheduled stopover in Kano. It was raining as the aircraft reached 250 feet. All that the pilot did to stabilize it never yielded result, and it happened.
The Crash Of Nigeria Air Ways Flight 825
On November 20, 1969, Nigeria Airways Flight 825, a Vickers VC-10 aircraft, crashed while approaching Lagos, Nigeria killing all 87 people, 76 passengers and 11 crew, on board. It was from London enroute Lagos with intermediate stops in Rome and Kano. With its under carriage down and its flaps partially extended, the VC-10 struck trees 13 km short of runway 19.the aircraft crashed into the ground, an area of thick forestand exploded.
The cause of the mishap could not be determined with certainty as the flight recorder was not working at the time of the crash.
The Crash Of Bellview Airlines Flight 210
Bellview Airlines Flight 210, a Boeing 737-200 crashes in cental Nigeria, killing all 117 people on board. It crashed after taking off from Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos enroute Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in the Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. The approach controller tried to contact the flight at 20:46 hours but could not get any response from the other end. Following an alert raised with National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to start search and rescue operations, the next day, 23 October, 2005, the wreckage of the plane was found on a flat terrain in a woody area 14 nautical miles from airport near Lisa village in Ifo, Ogun State.
After the crash, searchers could not find either the voice or flight recorder to determine the actual cause of the accident.
Adc Flight Crash
In 2006, a passenger plane operated by the Aviation Development Company (ADC) Airlines, Flight53, crashed on 0ctober 29 shortly after taking off from Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport IN Abuja, Nigeria at around noon local time (11:00 GMT). It was reported to have 104 people on board. It fell to the ground, broke up and caught fire in a corn field killing several eminent Nigerians among whom were Muhammadu Maccido, the Sultan of Sokoto and spiritual Leader of Nigeria’s Muslims amd his son. The crash of the plane which was Sokoto bound sparked intense national protest as Nigeria called for total overhaul of the entire aviation system.
The Crash Of Dana Air Flight 992
Dana Air Flight 992, a McDonnell Dougles MD-83 aircraft making a shedule commercial passenger flight from Abuja to Lagos crashed on Sunday June 3, 2012 into a furniture work and printing press building in the Iju-Ishaga neighbourhood of Lagos. The crash and subsequent forced landing resulted in the death of all 153 passenger on board and ten more on ground. The aircraft was a twin-engine MD-83 registered in Nigeria as 5N-RAM.
The accident occurred after the crew reported engine trouble and declared and emergency 11 nautical miles (20km) from the airport. It crashed into a crowded neighbourhood near the airport, apparently landing on is tail and causing a large fire.
The Latest Crash
An aircraft operated by Nigeria’s Associated Airlines that has 20 persons on board is reported to have crashed Thursday morning at about 09:00 hours in Lagos claiming the lives of 13 leaving others injured.
It is high time something serious was done about the monster of crash that has continued to cause this huge loss to our nation Nigeria.
Accident History of Embraer EMB 120
Associated Aviation is an airline based in Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria. It was established in 1996 and operates passenger and cargo services within Nigeria and in West Africa. Its main base is Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos. The airline operates mostly domestically with flight destinations to Abuja, Benin, Calabar, Ibadan, Jeddah, Lagos andMakurdi.
Associated Aviation, which as at 2008 has nine aircrafts in its fleet, four of which are the Embraer EMB 120, had no record of plane crash till yesterday, Thursday 3rd October 2013, although there is a history of a suspended flight operations in November, 2012. Manufactured in Brazil, the EMB 120 Brasilia was produced between 1983 and 2001. From 1988 to 2013, there has been a record of 15 Embraer EMB 120 crashes worldwide.With a capacity of 30 passengers (two pilots and one flight attendant), EMB 120 has an empty weight of 7, 070kg, height of 6.35m and a length of 20.00m. The model of the ill-fated plane is the EMB 120RT with registration number 5N- BJY. The owners of the airline still remain un-disclosed but the Chief Executive of the airline is a Mr Tunde Oremule.
Possible causes of the Embraer EMB 120 crash could be engine-related. This is
because the plane has a history of crashes stemming from issues with the engine; four of the 15 crashes were engine-related.
The aviation in Nigeria has experienced seven major air crashes since 1992 and the security in the sector was revamped in 2007.All airlines had to re-capitalise or be grounded, in an effort to ensure better safety.
Lagos’s Murtala Muhammed Airport is a major transport hub for West Africa, with 2.3 million passengers passing through it in 2009. In August 2010, the US gave Nigeria its top safety rating, allowing its domestic carriers to fly directly to America
Nigeria’s government says it now has full radar coverage of the entire country. Six
survivors were rushed to the hospital, two in critical condition. The aircraft was carrying 20 people 13 passengers and seven crew members. Pilot tried to return to the airport for a crash-landing but did not make it. Police Commissioner Waheed Sanau said the plane was chartered from Associated Airline to fly from Lagos to Akure in Ondo state and crashed into open land near a tollgate shortly after taking off.
The front of the aircraft was destroyed, indicating it was the first part to hit the ground. The wrecked remains of the plane have been surrounded by security officers and rescue workers, lay about 30 yards from massive tanks storing aviation fuel. Six survivors were rushed to the hospital, two in critical condition. Federal Aviation Agency spokesman Yakubu Dati said the Brazilian-made turboprop Embraer-120 crashed at 9:20 a.m. local time shortly after taking off from Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
State Of The Aviation Industry In Nigeria
Meanwhile, the much-touted reforms in the aviation industry and its achievements were once again shattered with the crash of the Associated Airlines plane yesterday. The sad development has also for the umpteen times, called to question, the state of the Nigeria’s aviation industry.
The concerns or fears ranges from security breaches to dearth of infrastructure critical to the industry.
During the government of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, many plane mishaps occurred in his eight years rule, which almost plunged the country into unpalatable pandemonium.
Experts and other stakeholders have, at various times, opined that airlines operators are not ready to invest on trained pilots and engineers that would oversee all the faults of their planes.Some of these airlines operators operate with genuine licenses but use old aircraft to convey their passengers to different destinations either within or outside the shores of the country.
According to a writer, Godday Odidi, no Nigerian airline is using 2012 model aircraft rather than antiquated and abandoned ones being imported into Nigeria as a dumping ground for all sorts and nothing else. He said most of these airlines, which both Nigerians and foreigners are operating in Nigeria’s local and international airports are old compared to aircrafts belonging to foreign airlines. In developed and developing countries, plane mishaps have some limitation unlike in Nigeria where it is become the order of the day.
The level of preparedness of relevant agencies for emergencies in the industry is below expectation. A medical doctor, Attah DarthVader Essien’s submission below underscores the foregoing assertion while commenting on yesterday’s crash on his Facebook page.
Essien wrote: “Watching the pathetic rescue efforts at the Agagu crash site. Disorder all round. No one keeping the mammoth crowd at bay. Rescuers using equipment that don’t work thus resorting to using their bare hands. For a nation who is used to plane crashes, it is bewildering to see that the disaster preparedness and coordination of the nation is still nothing to write home about.”
With the quantum of deaths being recorded in the aviation industry, it high time the Federal Government called the operators of these airlines to order in order for sanity to return to the industry. It is also important for the concerned authorities in the aviation sector to rein in all operators on issues of standards, compliance and safety. This will go a long way in ensuring a safe sky and planes in order to avoid avoidable crashes and deaths.
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