Aero Contractors has announced that it regrets the trauma her passengers on a flight from Lagos to Kaduna last Friday may have suffered after the aircraft developed technical fault mid-air. Adding that the situation was professionally handled by its pilots.
Read the trauma news here
A statement by the airline stated that what happened was that 25 minutes after the plane, which was carrying about 120 passengers, took off from the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, the aircraft got depressurized and because of that the pilot had to descend to 10,000 feet .
The airline, however did not say the feet the plane was before it descended to 10,000 feet. But that since the airline has a maintenance facility in Abuja, the pilot decided to fly the aircraft to Abuja where it finally had an emergence landing.
According to Aero: “Yesterday (Friday), Aero flight NG181 which departed Lagos at 18:28 pm to Kaduna undertook an emergency landing in Abuja following a depressurization of the Boeing 737-500 aircraft. About 25 minutes after take-off, the cabin got depressurized and based on sound professional training, the pilot descended to 10,000 feet above sea level; the oxygen masks were automatically released from overhead compartments.”
The airline added that on landing in Abuja, another aircraft was brought in for the passengers to continue their journey to Kaduna.
“Since we have a maintenance base in Abuja, our technical crew diverted the flight and landed in Abuja, while another aircraft was provided for the onward journey of our esteemed passengers. This second aircraft was used for the return journey to Lagos from Kaduna,”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) 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, NCAA, Mr Fan Ndubuoke, disclosed this on Saturday in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. He 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.”
Ndubuoke emphasised that the aircraft involved in the incident would not fly until there was a complete investigation and re-certification by the NCAA.
Mr Tunji Oketumbi, spokesperson of the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) said the bureau would not react to the issue since no accident occurred. He noted that since it was a technical fault, the NCAA was in a better position to ascertain what really happened and how such incidents could be averted.