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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

The engineer who prevented an air disaster

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A former Director-General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Joe Abah, has shared a story of how the quick actions of an aircraft engineer prevented a potential disaster on an Ibom Airlines flight on Thursday.

Mr Abah recounted the incident in a series of tweets posted on his X handle (formerly Twitter) on Thursday morning as he boarded a flight from Lagos to Abuja.

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He boarded the flight at 7:00 a.m. and the aircraft was ready to depart when an unexpected event unfolded.

“I boarded a 7 am @ibomairlines flight in Lagos this morning, heading to Abuja. My brother @seunonigbinde was on the same flight and we had chatted briefly about work. The aircraft door was shut, phones switched off, and ready for takeoff,” he shared in his tweets.

As the aircraft was preparing to taxi, there was a loud knock on the door from outside, prompting the flight attendant to open the exit door. A ground engineer entered and informed the pilot that the landing gear was faulty, causing the pilot to announce that additional checks were needed before take-off.

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Mr Abah expressed gratitude for the effective systems in place that helped identify the issue and prevent a disaster. He also commended the diligent Nigerian engineer who discovered the problem.

He requested the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to help him identify the engineer so he could personally thank him for his intervention.

Confirmations

Newslodgeconfirmed from sources at the Lagos airport that the incident did occur. Officials familiar with the matter explained that the landing gear fault was noticed before the aircraft took off.

One official mentioned that the issue was related to the towbar used during pushback, leading to a hydraulic problem with the landing gear.

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Ibom Air Statement

Communications Manager at Ibom Air, Annie Essienette, confirmed the incident and shared a statement acknowledging the observation of the engineer regarding the nose gear issue during pushback.

The airline mentioned that it was a routine practice to inspect the aircraft thoroughly before departure and prioritize passenger safety. The aircraft was taken to the hangar for necessary repairs.

The delay in service delivery was regretted by the airline, stating that safety precautions are always a top priority for the airline.

This incident comes shortly after the suspension of Dana airline’s operating license by the NCAA due to safety violations, emphasizing the need for stricter regulatory measures in the airline industry.

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