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Fuel Contamination: Another similar incident reported as two likely culprits are identified


Max Air incident scary, aircraft would have come down like a stone if it was in the air…

The likely culprits of the fuel adulteration supplied to Max Air aircraft and another airline may have been identified and reported to the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA.

Two fuel companies have been identified by the Nigeria Mainstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA to be responsible for the fuel contamination Incident as disclosed by the Director, Airworthiness Standards, NCAA, Engr. Gbolahan Abatan during a zoom meeting organized for stakeholders by the NCAA to discuss and give suggestions on the way forward.

He said, those involved in the adulterated fuel are not certificated by the aviation industry regulatory Authority. 

Though he did not disclosed the names of the alleged culprits, Abatan said, “Some companies we discovered have been certificated by the NCAA while some are operating, supplying fuel without going through the process of certification, we have identified them because as at this morning, I got a report that the NMDPRA has discovered two companies that are likely to be the culprits”.

Engr. Abatan said, thank God the aircraft was on ground, adding that, if it was in the air, the engines would have flamed out and the aircraft would have dropped like a stone.

“Luckily, the aircraft was on ground. Shortly before the aircraft landed, the crew experienced flautation in the fuel gauges and 10 minutes after landing, the APU shut down automatically, you could have imagined if that aircraft was still in the air, the two engines would have flamed out and guess what? The aircraft would come down like a stone with how many passengers? Over a 100 passengers”.

Expressing shock at the quantity of water drained out of the aircraft fuel tank, the NCAA airworthiness standards Director said, “as I got that report, I couldn’t sleep because an aircraft was filled with water and fuel and the amount of water that was drained from the aircraft was so much that, I couldn’t imagine it. This is my 36th year in this industry have never come across this”.

According to him, they have received lots of report of fuel contamination but the most scary one was the Max air incident.

Explaining further, Engr. Abatan said, a week after the Max air incident, they received another report from another airline that, another aircraft had suffered same fate like Max air of fuel contamination, adding that, the NCAA immediately swung into action to unravel the cause(s) of the incident.

“I want to assure first the Industry player and the general public, we are on top of this game. We have been having slepless nights trying to get to the root cause of these problems and this is a collective effort we can’t do it a alone, we need to know now that we have enemies within. That means people getting adultrated fuel into the system. This should not be tolerated even outside aviation”.

On what the NCAA would do, he stated that, the NCAA oversight starts from the fuel depot to where the fuel is dispensed into the aircraft and this henceforth be taken seriously.

He said, a verification exercise would be embarked on to identify fuel suppliers, the suppliers would be expected to show their certification and a team would be set up that would take the marketers through the process and eliminate those who are not suppose to be on the field.

“We are not taking this likely because this is a matter of life involvement”.


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