The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) yesterday released the preliminary report for the on-going investigation into the serious incidents involving Delta Air Airbus A330-223 aircraft with registration N858NW, which occurred after take-off from Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos on 13th February, 2018.
The Bureau also released the preliminary reports on the accident involving the DANA Air MD - 83 marked 5N-SRI that overran the runway at the Port Harcourt International Airport on February 20, 2018 and the accident involving Gulfstream G200 aircraft belonging to Nest Oil with registration number 5N-BTF, which occurred at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on 25th January, 2018.
In an official document issued on Tuesday and signed by the general manager, Public Affairs of AIB, Tunji Oketunbi, AIB stated that the reports contain factual information on the three occurrences and not their probable causes as investigations are still ongoing.
They include information gathered from witness statements and a preliminary inspection of the aircraft and the accident site. The three reports have been uploaded to the Bureau's website.
On Delta A330-223, AIB stated "on 13th February 2018 at about 2251hrs, a schedule flight DAL55, an Airbus A330-223 aircraft with registration N858NW belonging to Delta Air Lines Inc. departed Lagos, Nigeria, for Atlanta, United States of America with 221 passengers and 13 crew on board made an air return few minutes after take-off following a fire warning on one of the engines".
"The aircraft landed at about 2259hrs and stopped on runway 18R. The Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Services (ARFFS) reported observing fire on one of engines and extinguished it. Passengers were evacuated using the emergency slides on the right side of the aircraft. One passenger sustained serious injury while 11 suffered minor injuries".
Initial Findings by AIB indicated that the flight crew were certified and qualified to conduct the flight in accordance with applicable FAA regulations, Number One engine fire warning came on about a minute after take-off, while the crew at 2252.25hrs contacted ATC and declared emergency.
The report stated that the aircraft landed at about 2259hrs and stopped on runway 18R, where the Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Service first reported observing smoke, and fire on the Number One engine.
AIB also reported that there was evidence of fire within the engine cowling even as the two fire extinguishers on the engine were discharged.
"A commotion was reported onboard the aircraft before the evacuation", AIB stated.
According to the bureau, investigation is still ongoing and further investigative actions may include engine examination, material testing for the fuel manifolds, engine oil and hydraulic lines, inspection of fuel manifolds for crack and inspection of fuel nozzle braze joints for leaks.
On DANA Air MD-83, AIB reported that "the Dana Air MD-83, which took off from Abuja had an uneventful flight to Port Harcourt and was cleared to land by the Air Traffic Control. The crew reported that the runway had experienced recent rain before arrival and after touch down looked and felt contaminated with flood of water that did not drain well.
Other findings include the fact that after the aircraft came to a complete stop, emergency evacuation was carried out using only the left forward main door and the escape slide on this door did not deploy just as the Public Address System did not work.
"The Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Service arrived during the evacuation and all persons onboard were evacuated unhurt", AIB noted.
On Nestor Oil Gulfstream 200, AIB stated that the agency was notified at 1528hrs by Abuja Air Traffic Control (ATC) on Thursday 25th January, 2018 of an accident involving a Gulfstream 200 (G200) with registration marking 5N-BTF, which took off from Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos (DNMM) at 1428hrs operating a chartered flight service to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport; Abuja (DNAA) with 4 passengers and 3 crew onboard.
It stated further that the departure, cruise and approach to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport were uneventful.
"Subsequently, 5N-BTF was cleared to land runway 22. The reported wind by the tower was 070°/07knots. At 1518hrs, the aircraft landed slightly left of the runway centre line, skidding left to right until eventually the aircraft finally swivel on the right shoulder of the runway where it came to a complete stop on a Magnetic Heading of 160o with the right main landing gear strut detached from its main attachment point. All persons on board disembarked unhurt", AIB noted.
Some of the initial findings on the aircraft are: the crew are certified and qualified to conduct the flight; the aircraft was airworthy as at the time of the occurrence; there was no reported adverse weather during approach and landing into Abuja and the aircraft lost directional control during the landing roll.
Other findings are that, the aircraft veered off and came to rest on the right shoulder of the runway; the aircraft right main landing gear strut sheared off.
In his comment on the release of the reports, the Commissioner of AIB, Engr. Akin Olateru reiterated the commitment of AIB to release reports promptly to enhance safety.
"We are seriously committed to releasing investigation reports on time. This is one way to ensure that such occurrences are prevented from repeating themselves and conform with the purpose of accident investigation", Engr Olateru said.