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AIB blames pilots on 2012 Dana crash for not landing at nearest airfield as directed

The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) opened up on the remote cause of the crash of a Dana Airlines aircraft, which occurred in the Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos on June 3, 2012 claiming about 159 lives.

The summary of the AIB showed that the pilots first of all disregarded Air Control directive to land at the nearest airfield and secondly, double engine failure.

Business Hilights recalls that the Boeing MD-83 aircraft, with registration 5N-RAM, which was coming from Abuja, had crashed into some houses in the area, killing all 153 people on board and six others on the ground.

In his remarks, the Commissioner, AIB, Mr. Akin Olateru, said investigations found that the aircraft’s engine number one lost power 17 minutes into the flight from Abuja, and thereafter on final approach, the second engine also lost power, which made it to crash into the densely populated Lagos suburb.

“The probable causal factors were: engine number one lost power 17 minutes into the flight, and thereafter on final approach, engine number two lost power and failed to respond to throttle movement on demand for increased power to sustain the aircraft in its flight configuration.

Olateru noted further that “There was inappropriate omission of the use of the checklist, and the crew’s inability to appreciate the severity of the power-related problem, and their subsequent failure to land at the nearest suitable airfield as well as lack of situation awareness, inappropriate decision-making, and poor airmanship.”

AIB however revealed that eight safety recommendations were made to the manufacturer of the engine, Pratt and Whitney, as well as Dana Airlines, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority.

The Commissioner noted that “The safety recommendations previously made in the preliminary report published on September 5, 2012 were four wherein three were targeted at Dana Airlines and all were accepted and closed”.

“One was to the NCAA, accepted and closed. There were four safety recommendations made in the published reports, one of which is to the FAA targeting Pratt & Whitney, the engine manufacturer; one to Dana Airlines; one to the NCAA, with three safety recommendations in one; and one to NAMA on quality assurance management.”

The AIB also released the reports on accidents involving OAS Helicopters Limited’s Ecuruiel A350B2 helicopter with registration number 5NBKA at Oke-Oba Hill, Ikonifin, Osun State, on July 29, 2011; that involving the Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime Safety and Security with registration 5N-BKS at the Benin airport on July 5, 2012; and the other involving Bristow Helicopters’ Sikorsky S-92 chopper with registration number 5N-BOA at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, on February 27, 2013.

AIB said the OAS Helicopters’ incident, Olateru said the factors were non-adherence of the pilot to visual flight rules of clear-of cloud and obstacles, while maintaining ground contact at all times, which led to controlled flight into terrain.

The report said “The pilot was not instrument-rated and he lacked route familiarisation, being a foreigner,” nothing that five safety recommendations were made to the NCAA, NAMA and the Nigeria Police Force.

On the PICOMSS crash in Benin, he said the cause of the accident was the decision of the crew to continue the glide approach on landing despite repeated landing gear warnings, with the power lever below 25 per cent rather than initiating a go-around as well as the failure of the crew to recognise the landing gear warnings.

Bristow’s crash, Olateru said, was caused by fire on the upper deck of the cabin caused by the malfunction of a cable.

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