AIB releases preliminary reports into Airpeace serious incidents, recommends strict adherence to SOPS

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Preliminary report released by the Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB into the serious incidents by Airpeace aircraft in Lagos and Port Harcourt revealed  that the pilots and crew were qualified and certified to fly the aircraft and did not  failed to do what was expected of them in ensuring the safety of the flight.

The first incident report occurred 15th of May, 2019, onboard were 118 passengers and 6 crew. All onboard were disembarked normally without any injuries.

“The flight departed DNPO with 118 persons on board including 6 crew members (2 flight crew and 4 cabin crew). The Captain was the Pilot Flying (PF) while the co-pilot was Pilot Monitoring (PM)”.

The aircraft was declared unserviceable and grounded by the operator since the date of the incident for further maintenance evaluation.

On the basis of these findings the AIB commenced investigation to unravel the cause of the incident.

Though the AIB says that they got to know about the serious incident three weeks after it occurrence via a call from a passenger onboard, stressed that the purpose of the preliminary report is to provide details of the initial facts, discussions and findings surrounding the occurrence.

“This includes information gathered from witness statements and a preliminary inspection of the aircraft”.

The AIB report also noted that the aircraft was substantially damaged, “some fan blades were bent, both main landing gears oleo struts collapsed…….”.

As at the time of the incident, the Instrument Landing Systems, ILS, VOR/DME were available and serviceable and effective communication between the crew and Air Traffic Control, ATC and meteorological information shown there was thunderstorm in light rain.

“CT reported that the approach path was clear but there was thunderstorm on the take-off path Runway 18R”.

The Boeing 737-300 from Port Harcourt to Lagos on 23rd July, 2019 made an emergency landing on the runway 18R of the Lagos airport, vied off and lost its nose wheel.

Onboard were 133 passengers and 6crew.

“The purpose of this preliminary report is to provide details of the initial facts, discussions and findings surrounding the occurrence; it includes information gathered from witness, statements, flight recorders, Air Traffic Control (ATC) reports, weather reports, and preliminary inspection of the accident scene and wreckage”.

“ ATC, weather and the Fire services were readily available to the airport users”.

Initial findings by the AIB revealed that the aircraft had a valid certificate of airworthiness and due to the incident, the runway surface was damaged.

“The lower fan cowl of the RH Engine was damaged, the lower fan cowl of the RH Engine was damaged.9, the LH nose wheel assembly was found intact outside the runway on the grass verge, 1,058 m from the threshold.10.The flange of the RH nose wheel assembly was found at 971 m from the runway threshold and the main half of the RH nose wheel at 1,129 m from the threshold.11.The crew did not immediately inform the ATC about their landing status”.

According to the AIB report, the flight crew stated that on resumption of duty on the day of the occurrence, and after pre-flight inspection on the aircraft5N-BQO; they had earlier flown two sectors which were uneventful. On the first leg into Lagos (i.e. ABV-LOS), the crew experienced heavy rain during approach and landing but they landed the aircraft safely.

“The third sector of the day, flight APK7191 which was airborne at 10:38 h from Port Harcourt to Lagos was the accident flight.

The flight crew reported thatAPK7191was initially cleared to LAG to expect runway 18L”.

To this end, regarding the serious incident of landing gear, the AIB, therefore issued 6 immediate safety recommendations:

  1. NCAA should ensure that all airline operators review their SOPs to include procedure for isolating power to the cockpit voice recorder to preserve its contents from being overwritten, in the event of any reportable occurrence.

2.  Air Peace Limited should ensure that flight crew adheres to strict compliance with Company Operations Manual (OM Part A) Chapter 11 (11.4.3) on Preservation of Recordings.

  • NCAA should ensure that Air Peace Limited complies with Immediate Safety Recommendations 2019-005in accordance with Nig.CARs 8.5.1.24 (b)(c); IS: 9.2.2.5.
  • Air Peace Limited should ensure that best handling technique is emphasized during crew training on single channel auto-pilot operation.

5. AirPeace Limited should ensure that its crew adheres strictly to the Company’s SOP in carrying out a missed approach/go-around promptly, below 1000ftAGLin an unstabilized approach.

6.NCAA should circulate an ALL OPERATORS LETTER(AOL)to airlines on the need for their crew to carryout emergency evacuation; being the best option, in the 23 event of a serious incident or accident; with the aircraft structure compromised during landing or stops in an unapproved aircraft maneuvering area.

Investigations on these serious incidents are still ongoing and final reports on these occurrences will be released at the conclusion of these investigations.

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