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Agagu plane crash: Flight crew ignored danger warnings - Report reveals

Agagu plane crash: Flight crew ignored danger warnings - Report reveals

- AIB released accident and serious incident report capturing 2009 and 2014

- The report covered Associated Airlines’ crash in 2013 which occurred when the remains of Ondo ex-governor was being conveyed to Akure for burial

- According to the report, the crash was caused by the failure of the flight crew to heed danger warnings

The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has released six final accident and serious incident reports that occurred in the industry between 2009 and 2014.

Among the accidents captured in the reports was that of Associated Airlines’ crash of October 3, 2013, which occurred when the remains of a former governor of Ondo state, Olusegun Agagu, was being conveyed to Akure for burial, Punch reports.

The others were that of Westlink Airlines Limited Piper Aztec 23-250 aircraft, which occurred at Matseri village, Bunza local government area of Kebbi state on August 11, 2014, and four serious incidents.

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The commissioner of AIB, Akin Olateru, said on Wednesday, April 18, that the Associated Airlines’ crash occurred due to the failure of the crew to heed warning signs of engines at take-off.

Olateru stated: “The causal factor is the decision of the crew to continue the take-off despite the abnormal number two propeller indication warning and the low altitude stall as a result of low thrust at the start of roll for take-off from number two engine caused by an undetermined malfunction of the propeller control unit.

“The contributory factors are the aircraft being rotated before attaining speed V1, the decision to continue the take-off with flap configuration warning and auto-feather warning at low speed; poor professional conduct of the flight crew; inadequate application of crew resource management principles; poor company culture; and inadequate regulatory oversight.”

According to Olateru, the crash recorded 16 fatalities and four serious injuries.

He added that the AIB released four safety recommendations on the crash, which were all directed at the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, urging it to enhance the enforcement of the regulations with regards to the implementation of operators’ approved personnel training programme.

He noted that the NCAA was also advised to intensify its safety oversight function on airlines to ensure that flight operations’ were carried out in accordance with approved operations manuals in line with the provisions of Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations.

On the Westlink Airlines crash, Olateru said inadequate visual lookout and failure by the pilot to avoid the main rotor of another parked helicopter was the only causal factor responsible for the accident.

He added that the contributory factors included less than adequate planning and preparation for the flight, inadequate pilot training and experience on agricultural aerial work, and limited regulatory guidance and oversight on agricultural operations.

Olateru said the AIB made four safety recommendations to the NCAA in its report on the Westlink accident.

Also covered in the accident report were the serious incidents involving Aero Contractor’s DHC-8-400 aircraft with registration number 5N-BPT, which collided with the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company’s baggage loader on April 29, 2014; and another incident involving two Bristow Helicopters at the Addax Base Helipad, Calabar, Cross River state, on November 12, 2009.

Others were the serious incidents involving two aircraft belonging to the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, a Tampico Club TB9 with the registration number 5N-CBE, which serious incident occurred at Zaria Aerodrome, Kaduna State on October 4, 2012, and another Tampico TB–9 aircraft with registration number 5N-CBI that occurred at the same Zaria aerodrome on May 23, 2012.

Olateru said the bureau was committed to releasing accident reports promptly to realise the purpose of accidents investigation.

He added that even though Associated Airlines had gone out of business, other airlines could benefit from the recommendations.

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According to him, about 87% of the recommendations of the AIB are being implemented. previously reported that investigations confirmed that the inability of the pilot to turn on the fuel pumps of the ill-fated Dana Air flight that crashed at a Lagos suburb on June 3, 2012, killing about 160 people, led to the failure of the two engines and the eventual crash.

The captain of the aircraft, Peter Waxtan, an American, who was already due for holiday on the day of the crash and who had his flight ticket to travel to the United States on the day of the crash, was making his last flight to Lagos from Abuja when the plane crashed, killing all on board and a few people on the ground.

Reports indicated that 17 minutes into the flight, Waxtan noticed problems with one of the engines of the aircraft and a little later, the second engine of the McDonnell Douglas MD-83 aircraft went off and it lost attitude before it crashed a few minutes to landing at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.

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