AIB frowns over failure by Airpeace to report Incident

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We reported to the NCAA, aircraft manufacturer, Boeing…. Onyema insist

The Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, is irked over airlines failing to report accidents and serious incidents to the Bureau.

The Bureau identified Airpeace as the latest culprit for failure to report the Incident which occurred on June 5, 2019.

In a statement, Commissioner, AIB, Mr. Akin Olateru, who frown at the incident involving Airpeace that was never reported to the Bureau but reported by a passenger onboard.

“The Bureau received notification about a serious incident involving a Boeing 737-300 aircraft with Registration Marks 5N-BUK, belonging to Air Peace Limited from a passenger onboard”.

He added, ” while the aircraft was on approach to Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos from Port Harcourt. The aircraft was said to have experienced a hard landing as it touched down on the runway (18R)”.

Upon receipt of the notification, he noted that the Bureau visited Air Peace Limited office and confirmed the said occurrence, adding that the agency further conducted a damage assessment on the aircraft, which revealed that the aircraft made contact on the runway with the starboard engine cowling as obvious from various scrapes, scratches and dents, an evidence of tyre scouring on the sidewalls of the No. 4 tyre as well as bottoming of the main landing gear oleo struts.There was also visible damage to the right-hand engine compressor blades.

The AIB Commissioner, said the aircraft had since been on ground, awaiting implementation of the hard landing inspections recommended by the aircraft manufacturer, the Boeing Company.

” This includes an inspection of the right-hand engine pylons and the wing root, due to the heavy impact concerns.
Further discussions with the Maintenance Personnel of Air Peace Limited revealed that CFM International, the engine manufacturer, has also been contacted with regard to necessary inspections, to ascertain the serviceability of the starboard engine”.

“The nature of the damage suggest that, there was a high probability of an accident as captured in the definition of Serious Incidents in the Bureau’s Civil Aviation (Investigation of Air Accidents and Incidents) Regulations 2016”.

Whist the Bureau was not notified of the occurrence until later in the evening, AIB investigators met the aircraft at the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) apron in Lagos where it was parked with the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) affected, thereby posing an undesirable difficulty in the Bureau’s bid to successfully discharge its statutory mandate of investigating accidents and serious incidents.

A careful investigation of the incident by the Bureau, revealed that the aircraft was relocated from Enugu where the incident occurred, back to Lagos: and all relevant information on the CVR was over written, thereby making it impossible for the Bureau to retrieve the actual data.

The Accountable Manager and Chief Pilot of Air Peace Limited at the material time, were duly warned by the Bureau for non-compliance with the Regulations.

Based on all the foregoing, the AIB says it was obvious that Air Peace Management lacked the full understanding of the statutory mandates, functions and procedures of the Bureau.

“It is noteworthy that Air Accidents and Serious Incidents investigations are carried out in accordance with the relevant Laws and Regulations in force, in the interest of safety and with the aim of forestalling similar occurrences in the future”.

Reacting to the AIB statement, the chairman of Airpeace, Allen Onyema said, when the incident happened the airline reported to the regulatory agency, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and also wrote to Boeing and the manufacturer of the aircraft’s engine, CPM International.

“When the incident occurred we report it to NCAA. We followed the aircraft manual, which guided us on what to do when such incident occurred. We wrote to Boeing, the aircraft manufacturer and also wrote to the engine manufacturer, CPM International. We also grounded the aircraft.

“We always report any incident to NCAA and sometimes you may not know what to report to AIB because the NCAA is the regulatory authority and the Bureau is in charge of accident investigation. So when incident like hard landing happens and you inform NCAA, we feel we have followed the procedure. Boeing has written back to us and has told us what to do, according to the procedure, currently inspection is being carried out on the aircraft,” Onyema said.

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