Posted by By Ndubuisi Francis on
The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Accident Investigation and Preve-.ntion Bureau (AIPB), have ruled out explosion as the cause of the October 22 crash in Lisa Village, Ogun State of Bellview aircraft flight 210.
...‘Sudden change in wind speed before Sosoliso crash’
The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Accident Investigation and Prevention Bureau (AIPB), have ruled out explosion as the cause of the October 22 crash in Lisa Village, Ogun State of Bellview aircraft flight 210.
AIPB also gave a graphic detail of circumstances leading to the Sosoliso aircraft crash in Port Harcourt saying there was a sudden change in wind speed and direction as well as rain and thunderstorm shortly before the aircraft crashed.
Giving an update in Lagos yesterday on the recent air crashes, Director of AIPB, Engr. Angus Ozoka alongside his deputy, Engr. Femi Faminu and Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Aviation, Dr. Imoru Kubor, said result conducted on the crashed Bellview aircraft's parts to ascertain whether there was an explosion was negative.
Soon after the Bellview crash, the plane was believed in some quarters to have suffered an explosion which made sabotage theory gaining ground in some quarters.
"I can tell you categorically that examinations done by Nigerian security personnel and the United States Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) was negative. The result was negative", Ozoka stated.
Giving further insight into the Bellview crash, he said: "We studied and examined the aircraft's log books, including the technical and engine log books. We examined the pilots' records, including their licences, among others", adding that the medical examination of the pilot was also taken from the medical doctor.
He added that investigations are continuing, disclosing that it might take a long time.
On the black box of the ill-fated aircraft which is yet to be found, Ozoka's deputy, Faminu, said the fact that the casing was found was indicative that the crashed aircraft was indeed carrying a black box, noting that the work of the investigators would be much easier and faster if it was retrieved.
Ozoka who at this point interjected stated that some people had made insinuations to the extent that the investigators had seen the black box and decided to hide it, arguing that they (investigators) needed the instrument more than anyone else since it would fast track their work.
On the Sosoliso DC-9 aircraft crash, Ozoka who gave a graphic blow by blow detail of how the accident happened said the pilot of the aircraft which left Abuja to Port Harcourt with 109 passengers and crew on board was handed to the Lagos Area Control at 1.41pm on the fateful day as it took off from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
According to him, the Lagos Control later handed over the pilot to Port Harcourt Control at 1.50 pm when the plane was 90 nautical miles from the oil rich city. The pilot, he said, at this point contacted the control tower at the Port Harcourt Airport to know if it was raining to which he was said to have been told that there was no rain.
At 2.04 pm, according to the AIPB Director, the Approach personnel spoke with the pilot and asked him to contact the control tower, which he reportedly did at 2.05pm and was asked to commence descent into the airport.
He stated that at this point there was there was a sudden change in wind speed and direction as well as rain and thunderstorm.
Ozoka said three minutes later, the aircraft impacted on the land 300 metres beyond the threshold of the runway.
The wreckage of the aircraft, he disclosed, covered a distance of 790 metres as it continued moving and disintegrating on impacting the runway.
According to him, there was no physical evidence to show that the aircraft was on fire before it got to the airport as was being claimed in some quarters, just as he debunked claims that the crash occurred 60 nautical miles before the airport.
On whether the sudden change of weather may have caused the crash, he said: “We're looking at everything. We're looking at the possible response of the pilot. (human factor) because pilots are trained to respond to such emergencies."
He noted that before his team got to the scene of the crash, the police, whom he applauded for their conduct, had already found the location of the Flight Data Recorder (FDR), and marked it before mounting tight security around the area.
Ozoka stated that his team swung into action immediately and some metres away from where the FDR was found, the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) was also found.
He said the FDR and CVR were in "fairly good shape when they were retrieved, adding that they have been sent to the United States of America where the aircraft was manufactured, for the reading of the instruments.
On the October 28, 2005 Beechcraft-200 air crash in Kaduna which killed the pilot and another person on board, Ozoka said the aircraft took off from the Kaduna Airport and came down within a minute.
According to him, the plane came down with the nose in an uncontrolled manner, which gave investigators a clue that the engines did not fail but were still running before the crash.
The landing gear of the aircraft, he also stated, was still in an extended position as the pilot did not retract it aerodynamically. He stated that the parts of the crashed aircraft have been retrieved for analysis.
Meanwhile, the Presidential Task Force on the Aviation Industry has grounded an aircraft belonging to Fresh Air.
The action was taken shortly after the Boeing737-200 flight landed at the domestic wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe international Airport in Abuja.
Chairman of the Task Force, Air Vice Marshal Paul Dike, who led other members of the task force on a facility tour of the airport, gave the order following observations that the aircraft had worn tyres.
Members of the committee noticed that wires inside one of the tyres of the aircraft with registration number 5N-BFQ, were already bulging out.
The request of aircraft’s pilot, Captain A. Inameti that he be allowed to fly the plane back to Lagos to replace the tyres failed, as Dike insisted that the aircraft should not be allowed to leave the airport until replacements were made.
Dike said that the essence of setting up the committee was to redress the situation in the aviation industry, promising that there "will be no window dressing''.
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