Dana Air crash: preliminary report

The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has submitted a preliminary report on the crash of Dana Air’s MD83 (5N-RAM) near Lagos, on June 3, 2012. The report determines the main facts about flight 992; it concludes that:

  • At 1542:10, Dana 992 radioed an emergency distress call indicating “dual engine failure … negative response from throttle.”
  • The solid state based memory in the CVR (Cockpit Voice Recorder) was in good condition and retained 31 minutes of audio information.  The digital tape based memory in the FDR (Flight Data Recorder) succumbed to the post crash fire and melted, consequently no data could be recovered.
  • Fueling records indicated the airplane was uplifted with 8000 lbs of fuel before departure from Abuja. The flight crew reported to ATC they had 26,000 lbs of total fuel.  Preliminary analysis of fuel samples from the refueling truck and the supply tank at Abuja were negative for contamination.

The full report can be found here in PDF.

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11 responses to “Dana Air crash: preliminary report”

  1. Alaba Bham says :

    At 1542:45, the Capt reported the runway in sight and instructed the FO to raise the flaps up and 4 seconds later to raise the landing gear.

    Why do this or is this an error in writing the report?

    • Naijajet says :

      Maybe to gain airspeed which the would be losing if they had lost both engine…..Or they meant to write drop flap and landing Gears

  2. Greg says :

    It may have been a quest for more airspeed. With the landing gear tucked in and flaps raised (at least to a lower setting), the cleaner airframe would have offered less air resistance, and hence, more speed

    • Alaba Bham says :

      I get both Greg’s and Naijajets points but the report hasnt highlighted that.
      Its just conjecture at this time.

  3. palaver says :

    The FDR is designed to survive the post-crash fire, so I’m suprised by the statment issued. The FDR needs to be further reexamined. Also the CVR transcript should be released as mentioned above.
    The landing gear and flaps produce drag. In a loss of all engines scenario, retracting these devices will by the pilots some distance. The decision by the captain of BA38 to retract the flaps to an intermediate position was pivotal in enabling the aircraft to make it to the airport premises preventing the inevitable loss of lives both on the aircraft and on the ground.

    • Alaba Bham says :

      The FDR will show if that was what happened. Not sure what schematics of MD83 are but with both engines out, where would hydraulics be to raise the gear and flaps? The hydraulic reserve bottle cant provide that kind of power.

      • 'Seni Ramos. says :

        I agree with Alaba Bham, gear can be dropped mechanically without hyd but can’t be retracted without engines powering hyd, neither is there a RAT on MD83.
        Also if May Day call had been made before final approach, why decide to have second or final stage flap setting and why the extremely short time between call and crash, something/s is/are not right with the report.

  4. PumpsHighDescentCHeck says :

    The MD-80 has an electric AUX hyd pump for the landing gear on the right side of the system that operates at 3000 psi. That would be on already as part of the “Descent Checklist” . Also available is a hydraulic Power Transfer Unit (PTU) that connects both left and right hydraulic systems.

    MD-80/DC-9 pilots would start the APU on approach and descent if there was any anomaly involving power which would provide electric and bleed should the engine driven generators fail.

    So yes the choice to raise the gear and reduce flap setting was viable to extend the glide.

    The MD83 does not have a sophisticated flight management and it is typical to descend to glideslope intercept altitude as depicted on the Jeppeson approach charts rather than fly a continuous 3 degree approach (between 1500 ft to 2000 ft AGL).

    If at 10 miles out they reached that altitude they would expect the engines to spool up. If the engines failed at that point a 3 degree glide would put them impacting the surface 5 miles short of the airport (300 foot per mile rule).

    • Alaba Bham says :

      Lets not get sidetracked into the hydraulic issues only.

      The key is to find out why the engines failed.

      • 'Seni Ramos. says :

        Fuel pumps?, or should I say lack off them on descent, cocked up fuel transfer by flight engineer.

        There was still plenty of fuel onboarding judging by size of fire at crash sight. Engines were fine , plenty of fuel , flight controls operational, but already on glide path it seems.

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