The Nigerian Aviation Industry has been in the news lately due to the crash of an Associated airline aircraft which was carrying the remains of a former Nigerian state governor, Olusegun Agagu.
The Aviation minister’s comments promising to do everything to avert such disasters in future and a thorough investigation of the unfortunate incidence seemed to have been taken out of contest and thereafter heavily criticised.
Further reports which revealed that the aircraft which was under repairs was scheduled for a test flight that faithful morning and was not supposed to be carrying any passenger were also drowned in the sea of criticism.
The revelation that the ill-fated aircraft’s black box – Flight Data Recorder Systems, FDR, had revealed that the electronic system in the aircraft had warned that the flight be aborted minutes after take-off, and that the co-pilot had actually told the captain to abort the flight seemed to have finally convinced Nigerians that the air-crash wasn’t the result of negligence on the part of the aviation authorities.
But just as Nigerians were digesting these eye-opening facts, there came another report of a crash-landing of an IRS plane in Kaduna. As expected, many news hounds and social critiques went to town with varying versions of the landing.
Reacting to the latest reports the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Captain Fola Akinkuotu called on the public to shun all misconceptions pertaining to the IRS Airline hydraulic leakage incidence that occurred on Sunday 13 October, 2013 resulting to a call for emergency landing at the Kaduna Airport.
He stated this in a media briefing held today at the Aviation House Headquarters to clarify the incorrect information circulating in certain quarters of the media.
Akinkuotu stated: “For the purpose of reinforcement, the Authority wishes to restate that the affected F100 aircraft operated by IRS Airline, REG. No 5N-HIR landed safely at the Kaduna Airport, following a hydraulic alert in the cockpit while on final approach at the airport”.
According to the DG, “not all situations are emergencies, a situation can be abnormal but, that does not make it an emergency”.
The DG used the occasion to appeal to journalists that news reports on aircraft incidence and accident should be made with caution, after all facts have been cross-checked with the appropriate authorities, because of the sensitive nature of the aviation industry to the public at large”.