The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has demanded a mandatory occurrence report from Aero Contractors Airline, following the technical fault developed by one of its aircraft mid-air on Friday. The General Manager, Public Affairs of NCAA, Fan Ndubuoke, disclosed this to newsmen at the weekend in Lagos.
The Aero Contractors Airline Flight 180, which was carrying not fewer than 120 passengers from Lagos to Kaduna, had to be diverted to Abuja for emergency landing. The aircraft was said to have suddenly lost altitude, 20 minutes after it departed the domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos. A statement by the airline had confirmed, “There was depressurisation in the aircraft cabin leading to the dropping of oxygen masks.”
It added that Aero had a maintenance facility in Abuja hence the flight was diverted there to fix the problem. However, Mr. Ndubuoke said the airline had contacted the NCAA over the incident. “They have told us what happened but it will not stop us from doing our own investigation,” he said. “NCAA has demanded them to give us a report of what happened.” The official noted that one of its directors was on the said flight, adding that the whole report had been exaggerated.
He said: “A lot of people said the engine caught fire, but there is no way that an engine will catch fire mid-air and everybody will be spared. “There was nothing like fire incident on the plane and Aero has issued a statement that the airline lost pressure and was diverted to land in Abuja. “After landing, they brought another aircraft to take the passengers to Kaduna but some of them were afraid to continue with the trip.” Mr. Ndubuoke emphasised that the aircraft involved in the incident would not fly until there was a complete investigation and re-certification by the NCAA. Tunji Oketumbi, spokesperson of the Accident Investigation Bureau, said the bureau would not react to the issue since no accident occurred.