Sunday 21 October 2012

No engine failure on AEROCONTRACTOR aircraft - NCAA

By Lateef Lawal

The attention of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has been drawn to a widely circulating SMS and BB message in respect of an air return involving Aero Contractors flight no. AJ 133 that departed Lagos Tuesday 16th October, 2012 en route Abuja.

The NCAA is particularly concerned about the misrepresentation contained in the SMS & BB message as it is bereft of the facts of the incident. Therefore, the NCAA wishes to use this medium to set the records straight.

From the Mandatory Occurrence Report (MOR) filed by the airline and the subsequent report by the NCAA Safety Inspectors, there was no engine failure on the flight as alleged. The flight crew, shortly after take-off, noticed a warning light in the Cockpit from no. 1 engine electrical generator.
The Crew followed the Standard Operating Procedure for electrical fault by switching on the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), one of the safety redundancies on the aircraft.

The B737 aircraft is equipped with three (3) electrical generators, one on each of the two engines and the third on the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU). According to the Minimum Equipment List (MEL), the aircraft can continue to its destination with one electrical generator inoperative. However, as a safety precautionary measure the flight crew elected to return to base to fix the problem. On arrival in Lagos, all the passengers were transferred to another aircraft which operated the flight to Abuja safely.

The incident aircraft B737, reg. no. 5N-BLD was towed to the hangar and the defective generator was replaced. The NCAA Aviation Safety Inspectors have since cleared the aircraft for operations.
Again, in the misleading BlackBerry and mobile SMS going around this aircraft with 5N – BLD has been erroneously linked to another incident which occurred in Port Harcourt on the 11th October; 2012.This incident involved a different aircraft with registration 5N – BOB.

With regard to the Port Harcourt incident, the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) was faulty and the flight crew had to use the ground equipment (air starter) to start the engine in line with approved standard operating procedure. This equipment on starting made a lot of noise which is normal but frightened the passengers on board and they opted to disembark.

The NCAA wishes to state that the flight crew in both cases acted professionally in line with standard operating procedure.
The NCAA wishes to reassure the travelling public of continuous safety of aircraft operations in Nigeria''.

Courtesy: Nigerian Aviation News.


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