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Plane Crash: Obasanjo, Others Escape Death

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Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo and 393 others aboard an Ethiopian Airlines plane, escaped crash on Wednesday at Murtala Mohammed International Airport.
Obasanjo who was reported to have been absent from the inauguration ceremony of President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term, escaped crashing in the plane.
Other prominent Nigerians in the Ethiopian airline passenger aircraft, Boeing 777-300, included the Director General of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) Amb. Ayoola Olukanni.
Also in the plane was Prof Samson Tunde Adebayo, the Director of Ports Inspection, National Agency For Food And Drug Administration And Control (NAFDAC) as well as scores of Nigerians and other nationals.
The passenger aircraft, ET-901, had departed the Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, at about 9:10 a.m., Ethiopian time; 7 a.m Nigerian time.
The Tide source correspondent, who was among the passengers, reported that the almost 5-hour flight from the Ethiopian capital to Lagos had been smooth until the pilot attempted to land at the Murtala Mohammed International airport.
Rather than landing on the first touch line of the runway, the pilot over short it, due to rain and heavy wind, landing on the third touchline.
Reports say that on realising this, the pilot quickly maneuvered the plane back air, flying out of the Lagos airport.
After hovering between Lagos and areas suspected to be in Ogun, causing panic in passengers and crew members, the plane finally landed in Lagos airport, some 20 minutes after the initial false landing.
The atmosphere in the air bus upon landing was replica of what is obtainable in some Nigerian worship centres, as many passengers broke out into worship songs and clapping, while some fell to their knees in prayer.
Officials of the NCAA were unable to confirm the incident as the General Manager, Public Relations of the agency, Mr Sam Adurogboye, said there was no report of any incident in Lagos so far while the General Manager, Public Relations, Accident Investigation Bureau, Mr Tunji Oketunbi, said he had not received any incident notification from any airline.
Report checks from the Control Tower also gave the same report.
But the Duty Manager and Chief Customer Service (Nigeria) of the airline, Mr Otori Otan, said that if the pilot had continued taxing down after landing on the third touch line, he would have overshot the runway.
“But this is an experienced pilot. He realised this immediately.
“Fortunately, the distance between when he realised the situation still permitted him to take off and renegotiate landing,” Otori said.
He added that the incident was not out of place, while confirming that the wind obscured the pilot’s vision.
Otori also disclosed that most of the aircraft that flew out of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport had to fly against the mid day heavy wind.
“These things happen. That is where the sophistication of the aircraft and experience of the cabin crew members come in.
“The aircraft is one of the best you can have around and we are fortunate to have pilots who know their onions ” he said.
Furthermore, Mr Ikechi Uko, Media Consultant to Ethiopian Airline, confirmed that the aircraft had a “missed approach” while about landing due to poor visibility caused by inclimate weather.
“The aircraft thereafter made an air return before it proceeded to land successfully .”
He said the pilot’s effort was in line with the Safety and Recommended Practices (SARPS) in aviation
Obasanjo and Olukanni had both attended a Stakeholders Dialogue on Continental Trade and Strengthening Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which ended on Tuesday in Addis Ababa.

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Nigeria Saves $500,000 From Calibration Aircraft – Minister

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The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has said that Nigeria will be saving a lot of money from the acquisition of a custom made calibration aircraft recently acquired by the Federal Government.
Sirika who disclosed this while speaking to aviation correspondents in Abuja, Tuesday, said the purpose of the aircraft was to calibrate navigational equipment and aid the country for the purpose of flight operations.
The aircraft which is worth about $8.5 million, according to the minister, will be commercialised to generate revenue, and keep the industry safe.
“We used to have one in Nigeria, but for the last two decades, we never had any. What propelled us to procure this aircraft was that while we were reconstructing the Abuja runway, we needed to recalibrate all those landing aids. That is the standard requirement and this is to ensure they are working in perfect order.
“The last time Nigeria had such aircraft was 20 years ago under cover aviation flying unit. We did not have the capacity as a country, the only people close to us that had is ASECNA which is owned by French speaking countries, but the aircraft is domiciled in Niger.
“We approached them but they did not have a slot for us. If I hadn’t got the support of far away South Africa, we would not beat the six weeks deadline.
“Nigeria will be saving a lot of money by procuring this aircraft. I know I paid about $500,000 when our equipment was due to South African contractor to carry out the task.
“ If you say every six months, we will do this, and that would be half a million dollars every six months. So when we do it sixteen times, the value of the aircraft would have been paid. Not only that, we will commercialise it to generate revenue and keep our industry safe “, Sirika said.
The minister, however, explained that it took about nine months from when the request was made to the completion and installation of the equipment.
The Tide reports that the aircraft was built in Textron Aviation Services, Kansas in the United States, and it is expected to improve safety in the aviation industry.

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PH Airport Manager Seeks Safety Awareness, Education At Airports

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The Safety Manager, Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, Mr Oguche Samuel, has harped on the need for continuous awareness and education on safety at the nation’s airports.
He said the continuous safety education would create awareness to staff and stakeholders at the airports on their safety responsibilities.
Samuel disclosed this while addressing participants at the safety promotion day at the airport which focused on Foreign Object Deris (FOD),
He urged participants and staff to be good safety ambassadors in their day to day activities, stressing that safety is one of the core values of FAAN.
Meanwhile, the management of the Port Harcourt International Airport has keyed into the Airport Emergency Plan programme as plans are in full gear towards the certification of the airport.
The Tide reliably learnt that the management of the airport recently took steps in training staff in relevant departments on emergency plan.
Instructors from Accra in Ghana, it was gathered, were invited to train some of the staff of the airport in the later part of last year.
The training was aimed at developing staff capacity to effectively and efficiently handle emergency response with the certification of the airport.

 

Corlins Walter

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FAAN Moves To Check Security Threats At Airside

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Following reported cases of intrusion into airside at the nation’s airports, particularly at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at nights, the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Capt. Rabiu Yadudu has taken steps to install thermal and infrared cameras for airside monitoring and patrol.
The introduction of thermal and infrared cameras is meant to monitor and expose happenings or any intruder who manages to gain access to airports, especially at nights.
FAAN, in a press statement on Tuesday, said it took the steps because anything that happens at the airside, has a ripple effect on the aviation industry.
“We are mostly particular about the airside because at the end of the day, security and safety are paramount and anything that happens at the airside has a ripple effect and we are here to ensure that our airports are safe.
FAAN posited that it is a dangerous practice to go and open aircraft cargo door because of the engine blast which might occur on the process.
“The proximity switch and the plunder could vibrate when the engine level is moved above idle running; for some seconds, the light may flash and warning light will remain off. It is even an easy thing to open the cargo door while the engine is running.
“Rotation of the handle activates a torque tube to withdraw the latch rollers from the latch fitting and as the door swings on board under tension of the door balance mechanism, the door warning proximity switch is activated to energize the appropriate door warning in the control cabin to alert the Crewe”, FAAN stated.
Enumerating other efforts being made to tackle the problem, FAAN explained that the Authority has put patrol vans fitted with cameras on the dashboard to capture the environment during patrol, saying although this might be a temporary measure.
Our correspondent reports that there were reports of incidents of intruders allegedly opening the cargo compartment of aircraft either taxing or holding on the runway, particularly at the Lagos airport, which had become a cause of concern to FAAN management.

 

Corlins Walter

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