Nigeria suspends Dana Air’s operational licence
The Federal Government has grounded Dana Air’s fleet. The measure was taken for the safety of the public as long as the investigation into Sunday’s crash is ongoing.
Today’s rescue work was hampered by the rainy weather, but the FRSC reported that 153 bodies have now been recovered. Families have been trying to identify the bodies of the dead, which are being kept in a morgue in a Lagos hospital.
The Senate also called for the suspension of the DG of the NCAA, Harold Demuren, until the end of the ongoing investigation. According to an article published two months ago:
Dr. Demuren has proved that with CAA autonomy comes improved safety. The zero-accident record sustained for scheduled commercial passenger aircraft in Nigeria since 2006 is the most remarkable outcome of Dr. Demuren’s stewardship in the industry which is the key measuring tool for public assessment of the state of health of the air transport industry. Public confidence shot up as the international aviation community restated high esteem for the Nigerian aviation industry and its regulators. ICAO and IATA particularly testified to the “tremendous improvement” in the safety standard in Nigeria’s aviation industry.
Dana Air released a new press release including more information on the aircraft involved:
Dana Air Flight 9J 992, flying from Abuja to Lagos, on Sunday had a fatal accident. The Boeing MD83 aircraft, with Registration Number 5N-RAM, had 146 passengers onboard: 109 men, 26 women, 5 children and 6 infants. A Dana Air Flight Engineer, 2 Pilots and 4 Cabin Crew were also aboard the flight. The flight captain had a record of 18,500 flight hours and had already flown 7,100 hours on Boeing MD83 aircrafts. The First Officer had flown 1,100 flight hours, 800 of which on the MD83 aircraft. Both pilots’ licenses are current and are verifiable with the NCAA. The aircraft had totalled over 60,000 flight hours and, with total cycles of over 35,000. Its last 400-hourly check (A-Check) was on May 30, 2012 while the statutory annual maintenance (C-Check) is not until September 2012. The Certificate of Airworthiness issued by the NCCA after the last C-Check was still very valid as at the time of the incident. Dana Air began scheduled flights on November 10, 2008 and has operated over 18, 933 flights, carrying over 1, 600, 366 passengers in the process. The airline currently has 5 Boeing MD83 aircrafts in its fleet, all fully insured for the passengers and aircrafts by a company based in the UK, who are currently on their way to Lagos. The company is professionally managed and adheres strictly to the maintenance schedule for all its aircrafts as prescribed by the manufacturers, and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority. More detailed and scheduled checks are, however, carried out at MRO maintenance facilities abroad.
- The search for victims ended on Wednesday. Emergency workers have recovered 153 complete corpses as well as fragmented remains. It’s still not clear how many residents lost their life in the accident.
- The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) will send investigators to the United States with the recovered Flight Data Recorder for analysis.
- Dana Air’s CFO, Oscar Wason, said on television that a bird strike may have caused the crash of the aircraft. The aircraft left Abuja at 14:54 p.m., about 40 minutes later than scheduled. The pilot reported an engine failure at 15:42, but it’s not certain that it was a dual engine failure.
- Dana Air publishes press statements with updates on its website.
- The Federal Government has ordered a technical and financial audit of all airlines operating in Nigeria.